Planning permission on Green Belt garages site

Q We have acquired a large area of land attached to the bottom of our garden, it has three garages on it which are in disrepair but no planning permission. Looking at the plans of the road, this area of land looks as though it should have a house on it and we would like advice on how we can get planning permission maybe on ‘infill’.

The problem we have is that we live in a Green Belt area. We have no experience on how to go about this. Every time we have phoned the local council they say ‘No’ without even looking into the matter for us. We would be grateful for any help or information on this matter.

A First double-check the land is in formally designated Green Belt. The term is sometimes used inadvertently for greenfield land, which merely means land that hasn’t been built on before. Green Belt has special status in planning.

The special status of Green Belt means that building is very strictly limited. However, even in Green Belt, council policies do sometimes allow infill development within existing villages or groups of houses, in certain circumstances. Find out if this council has any such policy in its policy documents. You can do this on the web or by going into the council’s offices and looking at the documents.

Alternatively, if the information seems complicated (which it is), you can ask a planning policy officer to point you in the right direction.

If there’s an infill-in-the-Green-Belt policy, see what is says and whether your proposal might come within its terms. If there’s no such policy or you wouldn’t comply with it, you’re likely to be up against it. Green Belt policies are rigidly applied.

If this all seems a bit technical, maybe think about asking a planning consultant to look into it for you.

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