How to Gain Planning Permission on Greenbelt Land

May 19, 2017 1:13 pm Published by

Thousands of people throughout the UK would like to build their own homes or invest in a building project – for most self-builders, the idea of being away from towns and cities on their own plot is part of the appeal. Unfortunately, building on greenbelt land is fraught with challenges, not least of which is the outspoken local opposition to most greenbelt development.

British land is broken up into different categories which, among other things, state how the land is used and can be used in future. Policies change frequently but the type of land typically stays in the same category. The chances of you being able to build on a greenbelt plot depend on a variety of factors, including whether there are (or ever have been) buildings on that section of land and how close it is to existing development boundaries.

While building on greenbelt land is difficult, it is not impossible. Working with an experienced architect makes a huge difference to your chances of success and ensures that you know all of the rules you could potentially use in your application.

You may be able to gain planning permission for your project, if:

  • You are going to replace an existing building on the site, especially if you are not planning to extend the footprint of the building by over 30%.
  • You are an agricultural worker with a genuine need to build in the area (for example, your herd grazes nearby and you need to be close to look after them).
  • You are converting a building into a residential building – this allows you to turn barns, churches, or other non-residential buildings into houses and even apartments.
  • Your plan is outstanding and innovative – this has a very loose definition and every local authority will have its own standards for these unusual buildings. However, if your building is very eco-friendly and of architectural significance, it will stand a better chance than if it is only visually interesting.
  • You do not obstruct the openness of green belt views. This again is open to interpretation.

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This post was written by Dennis Adam

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