Brown field site reverting to green belt? - Public forum - Planning Advisory Service (PAS)
Brown field site reverting to green belt?
I'm after some advice, I am vice chairman of a Sea Angling club in the North West of England, we currently have a compound to house the tractors that we use for launching members boats, we have had this for approximately 40 years (we don't have a contract and don't pay any rent to the council for the site), there was previously a building on the site before we acquired the use of the land, we have submitted a planning application that has been declined on the grounds of it is green belt land, the garden walls from the original building are still standing, there is a large building next to the proposed site and a portal framed building same as we want to erect behind the site, all advice greatly appreciated.
Hi Neil - welcome to the world of planning.
You won't get detailed advice here - planning ends up being quite specific and that is why a good local agent is a good idea. If I've understood correctly you are talking about "previously developed land" (PDL) in green belt. This is a common topic.
If you want to read around your subject you should start with the national policy on green belt you will want to look at 145 and 147-51. You will also need to look at your councils relevant planning policy. Then see if there is a planning portal history thing on the council's website to see if there is planning history, and understand the site's constraints. Then you need to understand who owns the land and what their attitude is towards development. Ditto your ward councillors.
Then approach your council for some planning advice. Not all councils offer it, and sometimes it isn't especially helpful, but it is a good first step. You might want to explain why you want to develop, and what sort of benefits the development will generate (remembering the language of paras 147-151). They should tell you what their policy position means in practice, and give you a sense of your chances. [you might be able to skip this if your refusal already has reasons for refusal]
Yes it sounds like a palaver. Thats why there is a place for good planning agents!
Thanks Richard, I will look into it, unfortunately the council planning department don't seem that helpful, it took them 10 weeks to tell us that they class the land as green belt, the other reason for refusing the application was that it doesn't preserve the openness of the green belt, there's no public access to our compound and the building is a smaller version of the council building already present behind the proposed site so we wouldn't be altering the skyline as the building is only 3.5m tall
Richard is absolutely right in suggesting the use of a planning consultant, particularly if the council’s objections could be overcome. The case officer’s report ought to provide an indication of the success of a revised application.
Whilst it is Green Belt land, it would appear from what you say that it could be treated as outdoor sport/recreational use under NPPF Para 149 b and therefore not inappropriate development. You do need to justify though that it is a proposal for a club facility relating to outdoor sport or recreation and not a building for general storage use which would be a reason for refusal.
There is still the consideration of the impact on the openness of the Green Belt which has a visual component as well as a spacial one. From what you say the Green Belt may not be performing very well in the immediate area and this could be checked in any Green Belt review carried out by, or on behalf of, the council.
You also mention not paying any rent for 40 years and, as the council must be aware of that, you might also consider getting advice from a solicitor as to the legal ownership as you may have acquired adverse possession. This is not necessarily a planning issue except that the council may have plans of their own for the future use of the site.
So long as all the facilities to be provided in the building are to be used only in connection with an outdoor sport or recreation, then it might be accepted by the council as appropriate development in the Green Belt.
Otherwise, as Richard mentioned, it might also be possible to make a case based on previously developed land. However, in either case there is still the issue of the effect on the openness of the Green Belt to be considered.
Hence employing the services of a good local agent/ planning consultant should be the best way of proceeding with a revised application.
You might also need to gain a completely separate permission from the council as the landowner to erect such a building. Given the circumstances of your occupation of the site, you perhaps ought to seek advice from a solicitor on that aspect.