Appeal win for retrospective green belt build

Case Studies

Appeal win for retrospective green belt build

An appeal has been won under special circumstances enabling the retention of a new self-contained residential unit in the green belt area of Winkfield.

The Winkfield site plan

The appeal and retrospective planning permission is based on the creation of a new dwelling from the foundations and structure of a former barn.

The site owner had previously received prior approval permissions from Bracknell Forest Council allowing for the change of use of the barn to residential to go alongside the redevelopment plans.

An issue arose during the conversion process and the implementation of this prior approval. The builder unfortuantely demolished the barn’s structure in its entireity before erecting the new dwelling, rather than converting the structure that already existed.

The council issued an enforcement notice regarding the new dwelling stating that ‘the construction of a new dwelling and its associated residential curtilage represents inappropriate development in the Green Belt‘.

ET Planning submitted an appeal on their clients behalf explaining a number of key points to the council and appeal inspector, in order to bring a positive conclusion to this case. The key points raised were:

Prior approval was permitted

As part of the appeal ET Planning detailed that the concept of the new dwelling was permitted by the council with prior approval. The essence of the new dwelling has not changed since that application was approved.

The prior approval was granted for a dwelling which in all respects appears identical to that which has now been built on the site. Therefore, the extent of any impact on the green belt and local area, or rather the absence of it, was established at the stage of permitting prior approval.

The previous use of the site

ET Planning also highlighted that the site was previously developed due to its mixed use, therefore this dwelling could not be considered inappropriate development.

Development on previously developed land

With regards to the impact on the green belt, this build was developed on previously developed land. It therefore shouldn’t be assessed on the basis of being new development within the green belt.

No change in visual/size impact

The new dwelling has resulted in no visual or size impact on the openness of the area due to being of the same size and position as the former barn.


The appeal inspector for this case noted three key areas for review:

  • Whether the redevelopment works were inappropriate development in the Green Belt
  • Whether there was an effect on the openness of the Green Belt
  • And would the harm by reason of inappropriateness be outweighed by other considerations so as to amount to the very special circumstances required to justify the proposals

In concluding the appeal and allowing the development the Inspector said: “Looking at the case as a whole, I consider that very special circumstances exist which justify a grant of planning permission for the development”.

This is a fantastic result for the client. The case also demonstrates that all hope is not lost when it might seem like it – bring in an experienced planning professional and see what options there are. If you would like to discuss a planning case with the ET Planning team contact us today.

Get in Contact

Call us on 01344 508048
Or email us at

Our Services


Planning Applications

Planning Enforcement

Community Infrastructure Levy (CIL)

Viability Assessment

Land Promotion

Sequential Tests

Planning Advice