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Working in the Greenbelt

Do you want to develop greenbelt land but you’re unsure about getting your project off the ground? There are challenges to working in the greenbelt, but with the right specialist knowledge and insight, you can overcome them.

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What is Greenbelt?

The green belt is a specially designated area of countryside protected from most forms of development.

It is a United Kingdom planning policy designation with the aim to help prevent urban sprawl, preserve the character of existing settlements and encourage development within existing built-up areas. It is apart of the National Planning Policy Framework (NPPF).

In the northwest approximately 255,900 hectares of land form our local green belt area, including large sections of Cheshire, Greater Manchester, Chester and the Wirral.

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Strategies for Success

We've been successful in gaining planning consent for a range of developments in the green belt.

This is down to our design-led approach and understanding of the complexities of green belt applications. Demonstrating outstanding design is decisive here, as is understanding its context within a given green belt area. Whether you’re planning a replacement dwelling, multiple-home scheme or commercial development, we can guide you through the application process.

We’ll take you through the whys and hows of greenbelt development applications. It’s important to us that you get the result you’re looking for to make your project come alive.

Development in the Green Belt it is not impossible.

Frequently asked questions.

Can I build a new house in the Green Belt?

All development is considered inappropriate and therefore harmful. The only exceptions to this are those stated in national planning policy framework. The types of developments that are the stated exception to the general rule are as follows:

  • Agricultural buildings.
  • Facilities for outdoor sport and recreation.
  • The extension or alteration of an existing building (as long as it is not a disproportionate addition compared to the existing).
  • The replacement of an existing building by one that is not materially larger.
  • Limited infilling in some villages.

Is greenbelt the same as the open countryside?

They are not. There are many similarities with the respective policies, however the open countryside is a designation of land that simply sits outside of a settlement boundary (extent of a village, town, or city) where the land contributes to the openness of the countryside beyond it.

Is permitted development allowed in the Green Belt?

Just because your property is within a designated Green Belt area, it doesn’t mean you need planning permission to make changes to your property. Your permitted development rights to extend your property, erect garages, leisure buildings or general outbuildings without needing to make a planning application to your local authority aren’t restricted in the Green Belt. However, this is still restricted in National Parks, Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty and Conservation Areas where permitted rights are removed.

What is Paragraph 80, can it help me with my dream home?

Previously known as Paragraph 79(2019), Paragraph 55 (2012), PPS7(2004), and PPG7(1997), the National Planning Policy Framework (NPPF 2021) allows new isolated homes to be built in the countryside. Whilst generally policies of restriction are in place for building new dwellings in the countryside, the NPPF allows new dwellings to be built in the countryside where they are of exceptional quality of design. If you have property located within the open countryside, Green Belt, or Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty, we can help you establish viability and set out how to achieve your team home.

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