• Gareth Jones

Earlswood Green Belt Appeal Success

On behalf of our clients, Kingswood Properties (West Midlands) Ltd., Tyler Parkes has won an appeal to the Planning Inspectorate against a decision by Stratford-on-Avon District Council to impose a condition on a planning permission for residential development which removed the ‘permitted development rights’ for various extensions and alterations to the approved houses.

The site lies in Valley Road, Earlswood, in the Green Belt. We obtained planning permission for three detached dwellings in July 2018. Our argument for the original houses, which was accepted by the Council, was that the proposal comprised limited infilling within the built-up area of the settlement and that there was therefore no Green Belt policy, or indeed any other objections, to the new development.

The planning permission for the new houses was granted with various conditions, including one which removed householder ‘permitted development rights’. This meant that planning permission would be need for extensions and alterations to the new dwellings, as well as for outbuildings in their grounds. A householder could normally do such alterations without planning permission.

The Council claimed that this condition was needed in order to ‘prevent harm being caused to the amenity of neighbouring properties and the openness of the Green Belt’.

Our grounds of appeal were that the condition failed to meet the six tests relevant to the use of conditions and that it was contrary to policy, unnecessary and unreasonable in the circumstances.

We demonstrated that were the future householders to be able to carry out alterations without planning permission, this would not have an adverse impact on the amenity of neighbouring properties and would ensure the creation of acceptable living conditions for future occupants. In terms of Green Belt openness, we pointed out that the scheme had been granted planning permission on the basis that it represents appropriate limited infill development which by definition is not harmful, and that the various extensions etc. which would be permitted development could not possibly create harm to openness in the context of the approved development as a whole.

The Inspector agreed on both counts. He was not persuaded that there were any exceptional circumstances to justify the Council’s removal of permitted development rights and our appeal was allowed.