Getting Planning Permission in the Green Belt

March 31, 2017 1:31 pm Published by

Great Britain is broken up into different types of land, including brown belt and green belt. The changes of being able to build – and restrictions placed if you managed to gain planning permission – differ based on the type of land you’re building on, the location, and of course the type of building you would like to create.

Many house builders, particularly residential self-builders, like the idea of building a house out in the middle of the countryside but this is often unrealistic. While planning restrictions are one issue, there is also the issue of getting utilities out to the house – if there has never been a property on your land (and there are no properties nearby) you will either need to create your own power and store your own water, or you will need to pay a significant amount to get power and water out to the house from the nearest cables and pipes.

However, if you are undeterred, there are situations where you can build on greenbelt land sites. Those are:

  • You would like to replace an existing structure – it does not necessarily have to be a habitable structure (in fact, in many instances it’s best that it’s not) but you can replace a residential building that is already there. However, you might be limited in how much you can expand on the existing footprint of the building. Most areas consider an increase of up to 30% reasonable, but beyond that you are likely to face problems.
  • You are an agricultural worker and can demonstrate that you need to build a house for an agricultural business (for example, tending to livestock).
  • You are converting an existing building into a residential building – this is why barn conversions are so popular, but it can also apply to schools, mills, and churches, depending on availability and your budget.
  • You are planning to build a home that is ‘truly outstanding and innovative’ – this requires a very high level design and often large budgets as well. However, this is one of the more popular ways to build on virgin land.

The best chance of ensuring success in your planning application, particularly when working in challenging areas of planning policy such as green belt land, is to work with an experienced architectural designer. Language within planning documents is often vague, so an architectural designer will help to navigate through the definitions and ensure that you have the best chance of being able to build where you want.

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This post was written by Innermedia Ltd