The timeless argument rears its head every time the shortage of housing is discussed.
There are obvious arguments for and against.
In the ‘for’ corner we have the fact that we are an island with a finite about of land/space and a growing population, there are certain financial benefits to building on Green Belt when compared to Brownfield land and then there are the aesthetics benefits of building in areas of beautiful scenery.
However, in the ‘against’ corner we have the knowledge that we are known to be a green a pleasant land which once developed can never be restored, as a nation we also enjoy spending our recreation time in green open spaces and there are known health benefits to green open space not only to humans but for a whole wide ecosystem that depends on it.
So what to do…..
Green Belt development does not need to be detrimental to our quintessential British landscape. In terms of planning policy there are a number of Green Belt sites throughout the UK that are essentially Brownfield sites within Green Belt (if you are interested read paragraph 89 of the NPPF – see below).
This means that the Green Belt site has had a previous use (either continuing or now redundant) and in essence usually means it has an unsightly, semi derelict building on the site that serves neither a use nor purpose. So why are we preserving these Green Belt sites? Why are we not driven to redevelop these sites and remove these eyesores from our lovely green pastures and replace them with some beautifully, sensitive architecture that takes its influence from the agricultural heritage of the area while providing some much needed housing for our ever growing population?
We have had a great deal of success in applications in Green Belt on sites such as these and believe that the protection of the Green Belt is essential but protection for protections sake in areas when the Green Belt is not adding any value, used for recreational purposes and is an eyesore is unnecessary.
There is a strong consensus amongst professionals in architecture and planning that a legacy needs to be left that relates to the sensible redevelopment of Green Belt sites in order to ease what could turn into a housing crisis in our great nation.
NPPF 89. A local planning authority should regard the construction of new buildings as inappropriate in Green Belt. Exceptions to this are:
● buildings for agriculture and forestry; Achieving sustainable development
● provision of appropriate facilities for outdoor sport, outdoor recreation and for cemeteries, as long as it preserves the openness of the Green Belt and does not conflict with the purposes of including land within it;
● the extension or alteration of a building provided that it does not result in disproportionate additions over and above the size of the original building;
● the replacement of a building, provided the new building is in the same use and not materially larger than the one it replaces;
● limited infilling in villages, and limited affordable housing for local community needs under policies set out in the Local Plan; or
● limited infilling or the partial or complete redevelopment of previously developed sites (brownfield land), whether redundant or in continuing use (excluding temporary buildings), which would not have a greater impact on the openness of the Green Belt and the purpose of including land within it than the existing development