Approval for extensions and alterations to a residential dwelling in the green belt

greenbeltextensionPlainview Planning are delighted with the recent planning application approval for a number of extensions and alterations to a property on green belt designated land, in Epping, Essex.

The scheme and its challenges:

We were approached to assist as the alterations to the property were desperately needed to provide extra living space, but the property was heavily restricted in planning terms due to local and national policies.

A key complication was the site’s location within the Green Belt and that it had previously been extended many years ago.  There was also a local policy which states that a residential extension will be required to compliment and where appropriate, enhance the appearance of:

  • the streetscene;
  • the existing building;
  • and the green belt.

Can you build in the green belt?

Whilst there is a presumption against new development on green belt land there are a number of exceptions to this rule, although these need to be carefully justified.


During this case we were able to demonstrate to the Council, that whilst there had been a significant previous extension, the current proposals would improve the visual quality of the building and ensure that collectively, the previously approved extension and the current scheme would not result in disproportionate additions over and above the size of the original building.

To strengthen our negotiating position with the Council we undertook a very detailed site analysis, an assessment of the local landscape, streetscene and surrounding housing styles. This approach resulted in a positive planning outcome for an otherwise challenging scheme. 

Negotiation is the key:

But key to obtaining this planning permission was our active engagement and negotiation with the case officer, which continued for a period of almost 6 months.  It is another prime example that such engagement and positive communication can be to the benefit of both council and client.  In this particular case it has ensured that an existing dwelling can now better meet the needs of its owners without having a negative impact on the local area the council seek to conserve.

Plainview Planning are an independent town and country planning consultancy. If you feel your project would benefit from professional planning expertise then contact us at: