DC Casebook: Householder Development - Extension faulted on openness impact

A two-storey extension to a house in the Surrey green belt has been rejected on the grounds that it would undermine the area's openness even though it comprises appropriate development.

The house had replaced an earlier property and a conservatory had been permitted on appeal in 2008. The inspector referred to PPG2, which states that an extension to a green belt dwelling is not inappropriate provided it does not result in a disproportionate addition over and above the size of the original building. He held that any assessment of the increase in floor space should be done on the basis of the dwelling as built and not, as the council asserted, the one that existed in 1948.

On this basis, he found that the proposed extension and the conservatory amounted to a 19 per cent increase, which in his view was not disproportionate. However, the site lay in the Surrey Hills area of outstanding natural beauty and the extension would be highly visible from a nearby lane. Views of the countryside beyond would be lost if the extension were built, he found. It would reduce the openness of the green belt and was therefore unacceptable, he decided.

DCS Number 100-064-893

Inspector Richard Maile; Written representations

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