Special circumstances demonstrated for greenbelt householder application

Case Studies

Special circumstances demonstrated for greenbelt householder application

The detailing of very special circumstances secured a change of use application for a client of ET Planning.

The change of use was for the land adjacent to a pair of semi-detached houses situated on greenbelt farmland within the Royal Borough of Windsor and Maidenhead.

When planning was granted for the semi detached properties to be created from an old agricultural building, the land surrounding it was not included in the application and as such it remained classified as agricultural land. This unfortunately meant that neither property had any officially garden space.

As this application was complex, both from the located of the site being within a greenbelt, which has extra policies and restrictions for changes and new developments, and because it would mean losing farmland in the area, the client sort out professional support and advice from ET Planning in order to progress the case.

ET Planning swiftly submitted an application for the change of use from agricultural land to the residential garden space on behalf of their client including the following key points:

  • That it was reasonable for the dwellings to have a garden space
  • The land, whilst technically falling under agricultural use, is not in active use due to its location amongst other agricultural buildings
  • There is no change to the appearance of the land which is grassed, simply that it is enclosed by boundary treatment
  • The proposal is in line with Paragraph 146 (e) of the National Planning Policy Framework which provides for the material change of use of land, so long as openness is preserved.

On reviewing the application the local council noted that they were satisfied that the application met the greenbelt policy but they continued to have concerns around the change of use of the land and whether it should remain as agricultural land.

ET Planning were able to open up dialogue with the planning officers and demonstrate the very special circumstances surrounding this site. The first special circumstance was that the occupiers are required to live on site due to the nature of running and maintain the farm. Secondly, the occupants have growing families in need of more residential space; particularly outdoor space they can enjoy freely.

The application was considered and approved by the Royal Borough of Windsor and Maidenhead council. The positive outcome now allows the occupants to reside in the properties, with the residential space they need, whilst also maintaining the surrounding farmland.

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