Thursday, 29 May 2008

Greenbelt. Or not greenbelt?

GreenbeltThis morning I was able to confirm a date next week for visiting a location in the ward that is giving me a planning conundrum. It's a piece of land next to existing properties, that has been used for light industrial / storage / building purposes, for the past years, and for which there is now an application to erect a single dwelling.

The conundrum springs from the fact that this land is not for urban development. It's not strictly greenbelt, yet is has a designation that protects the village from expansion in this direction. However, a number of the residents of adjoining properties would be happy for the new house to be permitted, as it would look much nicer from their own properties than a builders yard, and would seem more in keeping with the area.

There are a number of questions in my mind though:
(1) If relevant conditions are placed in the deeds of adjoining properties, would that be sufficient to prevent further development, even perhaps in the near future? I.e. how binding would these conditions be on future owners?
(2) Would allowing a particular development on very local grounds, be setting a precedent (even though this is not allowed for in national planning law) for further application for nearby greenbelt (or similar) land?
(3) Is it possible that an owner could use a certain piece of land in a way that means neighbouring owners would then be glad to see development on it as an alternative?

I post these as they are the real questions in my mind as I ponder over this application, and thought it might be of interest. Comments anyone?

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