What is the Green Belt and How can you Overcome the Difficulties of Securing Planning Permission?

Introduced as a means to control urban growth, the Green Belt policy prevents urbanisation in designated areas of open countryside. The policy works to protect development across restricted open lands such as forests, fields and agricultural lots and so new buildings are often regarded as inappropriate developments.

What is not considered as inappropriate development?

Green Belts are used to monitor the unrestricted sprawl of large built-up areas, to safeguard the countryside from encroachment and to facilitate urban regeneration through the recycling of disused or vacant lots. Therefore the types of building structures that can be built on these lands are seemingly limited.

However, the following developments are not deemed Inappropriate Development and can therefore be approved:

- Any buildings used for agriculture or forestry

- Amenities tailored to providing outdoor recreation and land for sporting activities (amenities cannot encroach on the openness of the surrounding land)

- Cemeteries

- Extensions or modifications to already constructed buildings within regulations (extensions cannot go above or over the original structure)

- Limited affordable housing for local communities as set out in a Local Plan

Navigating the Green Belt Policy

Since its conception the Green Belt policy has been heavily criticised for its impact in driving up housing prices because of the restrictions it places on open lands. Because of this, successfully applying for planning permissions on the Green Belt is shockingly difficult. That being said, it's definitely achievable with the right knowledge and help.

In this thorough exploration of the Green Belts we will explore everything from potential development designs through to the legalities of the policy and how to maximise your chances of submitting an application worthy of approval.