If it looks like a duck…

An inspector has dismissed an appeal concerning the extension of a house in the green belt in Bedfordshire, rejecting the appellant’s claim that the proposal entailed partial redevelopment and therefore was not inappropriate development (DCS Number 400-018-287).

The NPPF states that new buildings within the green belt are inappropriate unless, amongst other things, the extension of a building is involved, the inspector recorded. This is provided that it does not result in disproportionate additions over and above the size of the original building. Comparing the size of the original building to the one that would result if the proposal were to go ahead, he found that the additions in both superficial and in volumetric terms would be disproportionate over and above the size of the original building.

The appellant argued that the proposal should be considered against the exception in bullet point 6 of paragraph 89 of the Framework, as partial redevelopment. Paragraph 89, bullet point 6, the inspector noted, describes the partial redevelopment of a previously developed site 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 as an exception to the presumption that the construction of new buildings is inappropriate development.

The inspector took the view, however, that a development of such scale which extends a building sideways, rearwards and upwards from the existing shell should be considered under bullet point 3, as an extension. He pointed out that the proposed development would not re-site the house, nor would it rebuild it; it would not replace its principal walls nor realign its front building line nor relocate its entrance. It would not re-orientate its aspects nor reconfigure its arrangement of rooms off a central circulation area. These factors suggested to him that the proposal did not fall under bullet point 6.

In any event, he noted, the impact of the proposal on the openness of the green belt would be greater. More decisively, the NPPF’s definition of previously developed land excludes land in built-up areas such as private residential gardens, and whilst the site was in the green belt, it was surrounded by houses.

He concluded that the proposed development would be inappropriate development in the green belt.

For further information on house extensions in green belt areas see section 12.632 of DCP Online.