Log in | Register

Appeal: Green belt development would reduce impact on openness

Communities secretary Greg Clark has approved the development of 138 dwellings on the site of a former HSBC training centre in Bricket Wood, St Albans, after assessing that the scheme’s development of previously developed land outweighed its designation as green belt land.

Clark agreed with inspector Harold Stephen’s assessment that the site clearly fell within the definition of previously developed land as it “comprises a very large institution in a parkland setting, with incorporated gardens, parking, sports facilities and hard standings of various kinds”, the facility having been judged surplus to HSBC’s requirements in 2011.

The secretary noted that the proposed housing development would amount to a reduction in the built development on the site, and would thus have no greater impact on the openness of the green belt than the existing built form.

He argued that the net effect of the appeal scheme would either be neutral or result in an improvement in “both the quantitative and qualitative effect on openness”, though development on existing tennis courts and car parking was judged to give rise to negative local impacts.

On the whole, given St Alban’s City and District Council’s inability to demonstrate a five year housing land supply, Clark found that the contribution of the scheme towards housing supply outweighed any negative impacts.

Full details of this appeal can be read here – for free.