Six new dwellings are to be built in place of agricultural buildings on farmland within the Bracknell Green Belt providing a much-needed boost to the local housing supply.
With development within Green Belt land commonly restricted it was planning policies, relevant case law and the site’s planning history which proved vitally important in this planning application.
Agricultural buildings on a farm situated within the Green Belt, as identified on the Bracknell Forest Policies Map will be transformed into six new homes thanks to ET Planning and the unanimous support the case received from a recent Bracknell Forest Council Planning Committee.
The barn, which will soon be demolished to make way for the new houses, is not classified as previously developed land. It was therefore imperative in the planning application that ‘very special circumstances’ were drawn upon in order to achieve a positive result for the landowner.
Achieving planning permission for Green Belt development
The major benefit of this site is that previous planning permission had been granted via the prior approval process for the conversion of the existing barn buildings to form five residential properties.
In addition, part of the application site can be considered as previously developed land as it benefits from planning permission to alter the class use from agricultural to commercial.
Taking this into account, as well as various case law examples, planning specialists at ET Planning were able to establish that the development was appropriate in principle.
Prior to submitting the application, the team also sought pre-application advice from the local authority to ensure their understanding of the previously approved planning applications, which of course enabled this subsequent application to be approved.
Green Belt Development – Relevant Policies
As part of the planning application, ET Planning were able to highlight a number of relevant planning policies to support the proposal.
In particular, the National Planning Policy Framework (NPPF), which at Paragraph 38 states that “Local planning authorities should approach decision on proposed development in a positive and creative way” and “at every level should seek to approve applications for sustainable development where possible”. Paragraph 119 of the NPPF comments that planning should “make effective use of land” in “meeting the need for homes and other uses, whilst safeguarding and improving the environment”
The NPPF, at Paragraph 147 speaks specifically to Green Belt development: “inappropriate development is, by definition, harmful to the Green Belt and should not be approved except in very special circumstances. ‘Very Special Circumstances’ will not exist unless the potential harm to the Green Belt by reason of inappropriateness, and any other harm resulting from the proposal, is clearly outweighed by other considerations.”
Conclusion and achievements
Thanks to the ET Planning team’s expert knowledge and thorough understanding of how relevant planning policies and documents could apply to this specific planning case, the planning committee took a unanimous vote in favour of the development.
This decision not only allows the development to proceed, which is a fantastic result for the landowner, but it also provides as an example that in very special circumstances, development within the Green Belt is possible.
If you are a developer or landowner and are in need of expert planning advice, please do get in touch with the ET Planning team today.