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20/11/2020

Appeal: 'Low profile' homes allowed in green belt

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Essex countryside / iStock: 877826470

Plans to build eight 'low profile' bungalows on previously developed land near Basildon can go ahead, after an inspector ruled that the scheme was not inappropriate green belt development and would not harm openness.

LOCATIONCrays Hill
AUTHORITYBasildon Borough Council
INSPECTORJ Davis
PROCEDUREWritten submissions
DECISIONAllowed
REFERENCEAPP/V1505/W/20/3247573

The appeal concerned a parcel of green belt land near Crays Hill, a village north of Basildon. The site contained a number of single-storey workshops and other buildings, as well as areas of hardstanding.

The appellant sought permission to clear the site to make way for eight "low profile dwellings", which would take the form of bungalows aimed at downsizers and first-time buyers. 

Inspector J Davis noted that according to NPPF paragraph 145(g), redevelopment of previously developed land is allowed in the green belt, as long as there would be no greater impact on openness. The council argued that the new homes would harm openness and were unacceptable. 

Although single-storey, the inspector noted, the existing buildings were spread across much of the site and were "generally of poor quality", harming green belt openness and the character of the area.

The proposed bungalows, on the other hand, would represent "a significant reduction in floor space" at 70 square metres each, the inspector considered. Their ridge height of less than four metres would "reflect the height of the existing buildings", and much of the hardstanding would be removed and replaced with landscaping. 

On this basis, David was satisfied that the scheme was not inappropriate green belt development and should be allowed.

The inspector’s report – case reference 3247573 – can be read here.

Image credit | iStock

 

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