Planning approval for a replacement dwelling in the green belt

Architect designed replacement dwelling in green belt

Plainview Planning are delighted with a recent planning permission which will enable a dilapidated dwelling near Corston, Somerset, to be replaced with a two storey residential property within the Green Belt.

Aside from the Green Belt designation, the site had further complications as it was also located in open countryside and in an identified area of ‘Great landscape Value’.  Previous applications had been refused on this basis.

The project:

The architects, Millar + Howard Workshop, had designed a high quality scheme through extensive consultation with the Council that sought to embrace the context of the site and policy constraints. The resultant proposal was a new dwelling sunken into the hillside with a low landscape impact.

However, despite the superb and innovative design, the Council opted to take a rigid approach in respect to the scale, mass and volume of the replacement development. Their stance was ‘no net increase‘ on the volume of the replacement dwelling compared with the existing dwelling. Plainview Planning were brought in to assist discussions with the Council at this stage.

Building in the green belt:

Replacement dwellings can be allowed in the Green Belt provided that they are not materially larger than the dwelling they are replacing. Each case needs to be considered on its merits, but there is a substantial amount of case law that establishes the parameters and principles for what should be allowable in each case.

Negotiating our way to approval:

Our planning consultants set out a robust case to the Council that demonstrated that a ‘no net increase‘ approach was flawed and contrary to policy and relevant case law.

We expressed the need to consider this application in a flexible manner, particularly given the high quality and low impact replacement dwelling that was being proposed.

We encouraged discussions with the case officer and the scheme was subsequently approved.  It was identified that on balance the proposal was not considered to be inappropriate development in the Green Belt and that the increase in size to the building was acceptable ‘in this instance‘.

Plainview Planning is an independent town and country planning consultancy who specialise in securing planning permissions for residential developments.  If you feel your project needs professional planning consultant input then please don’t hesitate to contact our knowledgeable team via

Image Source: Millar + Howard Workshop, High Gables, 2015