Building in the Green Belt

Building in the Green Belt

Building within the Green Belt is always challenging, due to it’s very nature the Green Belt is there to prevent urban sprawl and keeping the land open and green.

A recent planning case has just shown that it is possible to overcome some of the restrictions of the Green Belt planning policy by adopting sustainable design techniques.

The application site contains a disused yard, access track and dilapidated farm buildings. The proposal was for an unusual modern design, much of it below ground, aiming to achieve zero carbon targets using Passivhaus design principles.

The five-bedroom house proposed at a farm in the Buckinghamshire Green Belt has been judged to be of sufficiently high standard to overcome the council’s policy concerns.

The planning inspector found nothing in the National Planning Policy Framework to suggest that truly innovative designs were automatically unacceptable in the green belt. In his opinion, paragraph 55 was aimed at stimulating innovation, including developing new techniques in energy production, storage and use. The Passivhaus design would reflect the highest standards of architecture and its construction would enhance the immediate setting, he decided. He concluded that the scheme’s benefits amounted to the very special circumstances required to justify development in the green belt.

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