London Green Belt Council

Green Belt appeal decisions



About LGBC







Updated 11 May 2007, this page includes various recent decisions on appeals against refusal of planning consent. Summarises of appeal decisions arising from refusal of planning consent are available at www.Planning,uk/dcs, with a copy of the decision letter also available for a fee.

 'SoS' = Secretary of State. 'DETR' is now ‘DCLG’ = Dept for Communities and Local Government.

Car boot sales refused in Derby GB.  It was proposed to hold 40 sales a year, well in excess of the 14 days permitted under General Permitted Development Order 1995.  Farm diversity was insufficient reason to allow these sales on a remote site requiring car-borne shoppers made it unsustainable.  DCS ref WR 100-044-948.  3.11.06

Real tennis court refused at Eton College in GB.  The sizeable building would erode and intrude in the openness of the Met GB. The need for such a facility was not questioned by the Inspector but sports buildings had been resisted by many educational establishments in the GB.    The college had searched for several years but found no alternative site, and the site would be sustainable being close to the college.  The Inspector was concerned at the narrowness of the GB so it was important not to set a precedent.  It would materially consolidate sporadic built development in the countryside.  Although the court would be used by the community and contribute to national curriculum physical education needs , and was supported by Sport England and the Tennis and Racquets Association, these were insufficient.  DCS ref OT 100-044-972.  3.11.06

Equestrian facility refused in Lancs GB.  No VSC were presented to outweigh the harm to the GB, the ODPM decided in upholding an Inspector’s refusal.  The indoor menage was not an essential element of outdoor sporting and leisure activity because an existing outdoor sand training paddock would be removed.  It was not small-scale and the substantial building would reduce openness.  DCS 100041994.  19.5.06

Longer operating hours allowed at Warwicks GB recreation centre.  A trial period of recreational use of the land and buildings was given in 2001, then permanent permission in 2004.  The corporate hospitality offered included outdoor activities and evening events.  The Inspector allowed use until 11.30pm except on Sundays in the main building but not the whole site. This did not authorise a public restaurant since it was used by people not attending events held there, so it was outside the permitted recreational land use.    It was remote from main settlements and bus routes so separate visits to the restaurant would encourage more car trips, which should not be encouraged was not sustainable.  DCS 100042671.  14.7.06     

Museum extension into other activities rejected in Hants GB.  A holistic body treatment centre and beautician’s premises were inappropriate in the GB.  The two wooden buildings at a motor-cycle museum were permitted under various temporary approvals since 1997.  It was claimed that these two uses were not visually intensive being screened from outside views. They provided much-needed additional income.  The inspector decided they did not relate to the museum and were not supported by the local plan or PPS7.the rural location was unsuitable for these uses.   DCS 100042529.  23.6.06

Motocross refused in Essex GB.  It would be inappropriate and have visual and noise impact.  Bunds of 3-5m height had been proposed to reduce noise and sight.  PPG2 was positive about outdoor activity in the GB near urban areas.  It was refused because the buildings, track and peripheral screening mounds would reduce the openness.   The area had a pleasant rural appearance with long views over open countryside. DCS 100042533.  30.6.06

Staff building at Kent GB golf course too big.  The golf club argued that the existing building was not big enough to house equipment used to maintain the course.  The inspector decided it was big enough for 6 full-time staff plus casual workers with no need for a mezzanine floor.  It would undermine the area’s openness and character.  DCS 100042697.  7.7.06


Golf driving range refused in S Yorks GB.  The 24-bay range on farmland would be unduly harmful to the GB.  There would also be a building 87m long by 4.8m high and 84 car parking spaces. Although appropriate in the GB it would undermine the area’s character and visual amenity.  It was not well served by public transport making it unsustainable.  DCS 100042344.  9.6.06


Horse and carriage store refused in Hants GB.  The building 18m by 9m by 5m high was judged not to be small scale and would be mainly used to store the carriages.  As such it was not small-scale or essential in supporting the horse-riding in the adjacent field.  It would erode the openness. There were no VSCs.   DCS 100040202.  21.1.06

Greyhound & Speedway track hospitality suite refused in West Mids GB.   The proposed large suite would contain a bar, restaurant and shops, and house several tenants of buildings to be demolished.  The Inspector decided they were not essential to the outdoor sports at the site since they did not overlook the track.  They were too substantial to be ancillary. The bulk and height would be inappropriate in the GB.  Insufficient detail of the retail activity had been submitted to ensure there would be no harm to other shops.  There was no transport assessment to show what impact there would be on the local highways and it could attract and accommodate many people.  DCS 100040080.  13.1.06

Raised land level harmful to Essex BG.  Permission was granted in 2000 to restore a former sand quarry for use as a community woodland.  However the council claimed that excessive material had been imported substantially raising the ground level that was out of character with the area.  The Inspector found the level had been raised by 4m than allowed making it inappropriate and harmful to the openness.  The enforcement orders were upheld, while acknowledging the increased activity during the landfill removal.  DCS 100040195.  20.1.06

Scout camp refused in Essex GB.  Set in 30ha of woodland the camp provided 40 tent pitches accommodating up to 800 campers and 12,000 visitors a year in its 140 days of operation.  There is a dormitory for volunteer service crew but no facility for the warden and deputy warden.  During the close season there had been vandalism.  The Inspector concluded that the proposed dwelling was not essential and was inappropriate.  Other means of providing security had not been explored.  DCS 100041021.  3.3.06

Horse walker allowed in S Yorks GB.   A horse walker with a diameter of 11m and perimeter fence of 2m had been erected at stables used for keeping and training horses for amateur harness racing.  A hard standing had been built for access into and out of the stables.  The Inspector concluded it was small scale and related to outdoor activity.  DCS 100041143.  10.3

Golf driving range refused in Staffs GB.  The appeal site was a strip of fairway at a golf club.  It was proposed to extend the existing driving range by 24m and add a conservatory as shelter for spectators and waiting players.  This was part of a proposed expansion into a regional leisure complex, restaurant and motel.  The Inspector decided there was insufficient evidence to demonstrate that it was essential for playing golf, nor that the existing facilities were inadequate for the expanded role and function of the club.  The conservatory was desirable but not essential.  The scheme would undermine the openness and character of the GB.  DCS 100041745.  28.4.06            

Village hall refused in Oxford GB.  The design of the proposed sports hall did not fit in with its surroundings.  The hall would be considerably larger than the existing building and would be prominent in the landscape.  Combining the sports hall and community building and lack of alternative sites were very special circumstances, but the impact was overriding.  DCS 100037937  12.8.05

Tennis pavilion allowed at W Yorks GB house.  The pavilion measured 5m by 3.8m and was 100m from the house, outside its curtilage.  It was regularly used by the family and villagers and was essential for changing, shelter and spectator accommodation and refreshments.  As such it complied with PPG2 being for outdoor sports facilities, of minor in size and inconspicuous.  PPG 2 did not define ‘essential’. The pavilion did not materially harm or spoil the area, and a gathering of up to 12 people would not be unacceptable.  DCS 100038323.  2.9.05

School sports floodlights refused in Cambs GB.  The school claimed the floodlights were essential to maximise the use of the all-weather sports pitch. The inspector decided the school curriculum allowed sufficient flexibility to ensure reasonable use during normal school hours.  Although use of the pitch by the school and others outside those hours was desirable it was not essential.  The site had a strong rural feel with a very low level of street lighting so these lights would introduce a block of light undermining the character of the conservation area.  DCS 100039031.  28.10.05

Christian meeting room refused in Derbyshire GB.  The 3.2ha site was part of a vacant farm containing a 2-storey farmhouse, farm buildings and pig-rearing sheds.   The proposal was for a 1,269 sqm. building was supported by the council because of the reduced footprint and height, improvements in the partially derelict  site, and absence of alternative sites in the area for a place of worship.  The DPM agreed the need for a bigger meeting room but agreed with the Inspector that there was no need for a green belt location.  It would not cause a visual enhancement to the openness.  It would improve it but would introduce an urban development in a rural area  It did not comply with PPG13 being inaccessible by a choice of transport.  DCS 100037668.  15.7.05

West Mids GB racecourse refused leisure development.  The proposal was for 52 additional hotel bedrooms, a restaurant extension, a casino and extension to the grandstand.   It was claimed that there was a proven need and no sequentially preferable sites were available.  Very special circumstances claimed were the need to secure the long-term future of the racecourse as a leisure and tourist destination, enhancing the quality of facilities.  The DPM agreed with the inspector that it would adversely affect openness, and the claimed synergy was based on market and financial considerations and could not amount to very special circumstances.  DCS 100037872.  29.7.05.

Sports hall justified by meeting minority needs in Berks GB.  The proposal was an indoor sports hall, children’s play area, sports field and parking for 60 cars on part of a field on the edge of an urban area.  It was primarily aimed at Sikhs since they have to wear special clothing and many women were shy and awkward about taking part in sports and recreation with non-Sikhs.  The DPM noted that a lengthy search had been made for a suitable site.  Taken together these were very special circumstances justifying approval.  Approval was deferred pending a S106 agreement on restrictions of use and off-site highway improvements.  DCS 100037752.  22.7.05        

Diving centre upgrade refused in Met GB.  The centre had about 5,000 members of which about 1,000 had disabilities.  It was proposed to add a toilet block, enclosure building, extra car parking, walkways and lighting.  The inspector noted the enclosure building would be similar in size to the main building and would undermine the openness of the GB.  There was also a discrepancy in the size of the car parking area. DCS 100037675.  22.7.05

Yoga centre refused in Notts GB.   It was proposed to convert a farm building to a yoga centre with claims of medical benefit to users.  The inspctor said the hard standing for 12 cars would have a material impact on the countryside, being visible from various public vantage points.  The claimed medical benefits did not outweigh the harm to the GB.  DCS 100037877.  DCS 29.7.05

Replica Roman Bathhouse refused in Herts GB.  It was intended to form part of a group of former farm buildings used for research and educational purposes.  The appellant argued the openness would not be affected since it would be built on part of an old storage yard, and therefore within previously developed land.  The Inspector ruled that the previous use and educational benefits did not justify allowing the scheme to proceed since the structure would reduce openness.  DCS 100037473.  1.7.05

Homes & golf club refused at Staffs GB.  The proposal was to demolish an existing clubhouse to provide housing and fund a new clubhouse, a maintenance shed and course improvements.  The argument was that the housing would have the same footprint as the existing clubhouse and the new clubhouse facilities for outdoor sport, complying with PPG2.  The Inspector decided there would be a significant increase in built development reducing the openness of the GB.  The funded improvements were not very special circumstances, and there would not be any significant benefits to the public as a whole.  DCS 100037064.  27 June 2005

W Yorks chalets in GB refused.  10 self-catering chalets on the ski slope were not essential facilities for outdoor sport and would be visually prominent.  The benefit to skiers and staff were less than the harm to the openness of the GB.  DCS 100036876.  May 2005.

Herts GB indoor tennis facilities refused.  A Herts school was refused an inflatable ‘air-hall’ in winter, even though it would be dismantled in summer.  The removal during summer was not a very special circumstance.  The tennis and air-halls would cover about 30% of the site.  Although PPG2 allowed essential outdoor sporting activity, this was indoors.  The building and car park would be prominent, reducing the openness. The proposed building would be larger than the air-hall, reducing openness.  There was no evidence that existing indoor tennis courts were suitable for outdoor use.  DCS 100036905.  May 2005

Tennis court outside house curtilage in Herts GB.  Approved in 1999 a replacement house was built on a large plot of land.  One EO required removal of the unauthorised tennis court. A second EO alleged part of the land was being used to store builders plant and machinery.  The appellant claimed this adjoining land fell with the house curtilage.    The Inspector found the 1999 permission excluded that area of land and, although it might have been within the curtilage of the original house, the new permission extinguished it.  Neither the tennis courts of storage were incidental to the residential use.  Just because the tennis courts were used by the family did not create a very special circumstance.  The storage use did not fall to be considered.  DCS 46738226.  Nov 2004.

OPP for West Mids GB church renewed.   Outline planning permission was granted in 1998 and the site allocated in the recently adopted local plan.  The council was concerned that the proposal did not involve building a new parish church and might not serve the needs of the immediate area.  The Diocese of B’ham agreed and did not wish to build a church there for pastoral reasons, favouring another location.  The Inspector ruled that these points should have been raised during the development plan process so there was now no basis for refusal, and awarded costs against the council.  DCS 32653979  Oct 2004.

Sports complex allowed in York GB.  Very special circumstances included the lack of any suitable alternative site and meeting the local need for recreational and sports facilities. The modern building would use only about 5% of the 4.5ha site but this reduced the openness making it inappropriate, but would not greatly affect important views of York Minster.  There was a need for football and cricket pitches but not need for anything else due to four existing swimming pools and gyms in that part of the city.   He dismissed objections of competition with existing facilities since the city wanted to achieve the highest participation levels of any city.  It complied with PPG6 being close to retail and leisure outlets with a frequent bus service through an adjacent retail park.   DCS 30457850  Oct 2004.

Observation platform approved in Kent GB and AONB.  The existing platform was 10m above the ground in a protected tree.  The Inspector ruled it enabled outdoor recreation of observing wildlife at a newly-created lake in the grounds of the dwelling.  A report said it did not pose a threat to the long-term future of the tree.  DCS 5140021  DCS Sept 2004.

School sports hall refused in Shropshire GB.  A 50-year old special school in an isolated rural location applied for a a new sports hall being about 20m by 34m in size.  It would add to the complex of buildings and be completely screened from the road.  The Inspector acknowledged that the pupils needed a structured therapeutic environment including physical activity with some being indoors.  However the lack of details evidence made it impossible to properly assess the need for further in-door facilities.  He was unable to assess whether the very special circumstances outweighed the GB considerations on openness.  DCS 38738202.  Sept 2004.

Paintball club refused in Met GB.  The site contained a portable cabin, a storage container, poles, netting and inflatables used when paintball games were being played.  The Inspector ruled that the structures were not small and not essential to the recreational use of the land.  Despite government support for farm diversity it would harm the openness and character of the area.  DCS 55848259.  Sept

N London golf centre extension in Met GB refused.   The centre was within a complex of a 9-hole course, 48-bay driving range, putting and short game practice area, indoor café and shop etc.  The Inspector decided the proposed multi-functional facilities were not essential for the outdoor pursuits as a whole, neither was a demand demonstrated, as required by PPG2.  The 615 m2 building would extend by 413 m2.  The nearest driving range was 8km away but this was not a very special circumstance.  DCS 40562547.  July 2004.

NW London GB war bunker conversion to dwelling approved.  The Grade11 listed 1950’s concrete bunker is on a small plateau cut into a steeply sloping wooded hillside.  It is one of two remaining London war rooms that provided accommodation for military and civilian personnel in the event of a nuclear attack.  It is a massive single-storey structure with minimum openings for access and ventilation and had changed little since decommissioning in 1968.  The Inspector decided that the new upper floor clad in a mixture of transparent, translucent and opaque glazing would heighten the visual impact yet retain its special historic interest.  It was compatible with GB policy because no major reconstruction work was required.  DCS 37003848.  June 2004.

Golf course netting inappropriate -  In Bucks GB,  netting 9.75m high and 67m long, and mounted on metal poles was erected to stop stray golf balls hitting nearby houses.  The Inspector disagreed because there was no evidence to prove the course was unplayable without the netting.  Existing planting had been supplemented by screening which she thought would be adequate protection.  DCS 57150292.  Feb 2004

Religious hall allowed in Essex GB – Located in the grounds of a multi-denominational religious institution where open-air services were already held, the new 350-seater building would be screened from view and have no adverse impact on the character of the area.  It was an essential facility offering protection from the weather, which was a very special circumstance.  DCS 34525610.  March 2004.


Miniature railway room rejected in Herts GB -  the hobby room would have housed a model of part of the East Coast Main Line at a listed priory.  The Inspector said it was likely to harm the historic setting of the building and the openness of the GB.  DCS 54334441  Dec 2003

Commercial fishing lake not harmful in N Yorks – Approved in 1996 as a private fishing lake one lake was used for fish breeding and the other for 60 pegs for anglers.   The council refused permission for commercial fishing as inappropriate, and the car park and toilet block would reduce the openness.  Traffic would harm the amenities of neighbours.  The Inspector disagreed since it provided outdoor sport and leisure, the building was essential and would blend into the landscape.  The car park of 30 spaces would be screened and was genuinely required.  The nearest house was 60m from the site, 130m from the nearest parking and 200m from the nearest peg.  Given the nature of the activity it should not be a nuisance.  DCS 49937644.  Nov 2003.

Bucks GB tree house too big – Located in the grounds of a large house and in the Chilterns Area of Natural Beauty, the tree house had been extended in the past.  It was on a platform 5.2m by 3.5m and 3m above the ground.  The appellant argued that it had a limited life, and was viewed against a wooded background in a formal part of the garden so it was not visually intrusive, but could be shielded by planting.  The Inspector noted the beech tree was in poor condition; the structure projected beyond the natural canopy, and could not be shielded if viewed from the adjacent field.  Temporary permission would not overcome the harmful impact.  Although tree houses could be a traditional feature of wooed gardens, this one was unacceptable in the GB and AONB.  DCS 300773556.  October 2003.

Sunday clay pigeon shoot refused in Bristol GB – the noise for 2 and a half hours on Sundays was an unacceptable level of disturbance even though the area was under the flight path to Bristol airport.  A shipping container had been put on the site as an office, store, and launch site for the targets, which reduced the openness.  The impracticality of being equipment on site each Sunday did not creat a very special circumstance.  DCS 51705996  October 2003.

Two beach huts at Milford-on-sea (Hants) refused – The Inspector ruled that although beach huts can be delightful facilities they were not essential for outdoor sport or recreation.  The site on the lower slopes of a cliff would harm the openness of the area.  Benefits would be limited to users of the huts and not the wider community.  DCS 34934410.  May 2003.        

Herts GB tennis court on paddock refused – Houghton v SoSEnv & L/B Bromley 1995 had ruled that there should be no distinction between public and private facilities in assessing proposals form outdoor sports in the GB.  The Inspector decided that this tennis court was appropriate but the 2.1m high chain-link fencing reduced the openness of the countryside.  Although a 2m high fence could be erected under permitted development rights there was no evidence that this would be done of the appeal failed.  DCS 52649348  April 2003.

Selby (Yorks) GB equestrian centre expansion refused – Selby District Council approved the expansion of an equestrian centre in the GB but the High Court ruled that no very special circumstance had been demonstrated. Adjoining land owners argued that the centre would adversely affect their land and set an undesirable precedent.  The Judge agreed that expansion of a business did not constitute a very special circumstance.  Samual Smith Old Brewery (Tadcaster) v Selby DC  16 April 2003  Ref CO/4942/2002

Equestrian centre rebuild in Met GB allowed – the like-for-like rebuild would not appreciably affect the openness for the GB and a new hay barn could be designed to look like an agricultural building.  A proposed mobile home would be insignificant in this large complex, and would be balanced by removal of some buildings.  The improvement in the site’s appearance was a very special circumstance and compensate for a deficiency of indoor riding facilities in the area.  On-site security justified the mobile home.  DCS 53122094  May 2003. 

Surrey GB polo ground allowed all-weather surface – The surface had been built more than four years ago so it was immune from enforcement orders.  A 1.7m timber fence enclosed the land and nothing in the GPDO required the purpose of the means of enclosure to be taken into account – the Council had argued it was for the specific function of enabling polo to be played.  Netting and goalposts were minor features essential for outdoor sports.  Although the development was inappropriate, reducing the openness of the area, very special circumstances justified allowing the appeal.  DCS 35421246  June 2003.

Shrops GB angling centre had too many facilities – Stableford Estates Ltd made two appeals, one for the change of use of the land and the other for the buildings.  The latter had three floors, with a ground floor area of 250m2.   The Inspector refused the building as substantial and would contain facilities not essential for angling.  The seven car parking spaces would reduce the openness of the countryside.  Very special circumstances were claimed for proper stewardship of the land, creating jobs, and providing a leisure facility.  However these were judged not to outweigh the harm and impact on the GB.  Also the appellant did explain how the excavated soil would be dealt with.  DCS 56146176  June 2003.

Essex GB microlight flying refused – The grass strip in the field used for landing and take-offs harmed the amenity and privacy of neighbours and would alarm pedestrians on the nearby footpath, the planes being about at a height of about 150m.  Although the GPDO allowed flying for up to 28 days a year (Mansi v Elstree RDC 1964), this did not permit a more intensive use.  DCS 40703042.  June 2003.  

School pavilions at Middlesex GB refused - This Merchant Taylors School proposal was refused due to the extent of teh facilities provided. One pavilion was 580 msq with a bar, dining area for 92 people, kitchen and committee room. The other would be 465 msq on two floors, the upper floor could hold up to 250 people. There ould be an all-weather hockey pitch with floodlighting, a rugby pitch and car parking. The pavillion facilities were held to be excessive for a school and would harm the openness of the GB countryside and character and appearance of the area. DCS 54391126 March 2003.

GB floodlights inappropriate - A previous Inspector had allowed floodlights around a tennis court in the Berkshire GB, but the High Court quashed this decsion. A second Inspector ruled the lights to be inappropriate and harmful. PPG2 para 3.4 identified those forms of development that were appropriate. the floodlights related to a lawful residential use so it must be inappropriate because residential development was so classified, and no very special circumstances had been put forward. DCS 30860748

GB sports facilities not OK - The Inspector said it was appropriate to change the use of farmland in the Surrey GB into 2 football pitches, a cricket square, 6 tennis courts, 70 car spaces and a pavilion. the latter had 2 changing rooms, a small kitchen and social area. HOwever the use would generate considerable activity and a suburban character to the countryside. There was no evidence of need for these facilities and transport facilities were poor. He dismissed the appeal on transport and landscape grounds. DCS 40668889

GB pub canopy OK if colour changed - The Inspector approved a demountable canopy at a GB pub provided it was painted dark green instead of white, and he imposed a 5-year limit. The pub was very small and isolated and the only other pub in the village had closed. Although the canopy reduced the openness and adversely affected the setting of the listed building the application was supported by CAMRA and would increase the available space providing an important community facility. The Inspector decided that the canopy increased available space, making the pub an important community facility. S Bucks DC 6 Nov 2002 DCS 43965699

Chelsea Football Club training ground refused - This proposal at Sunbury on Thames would be an inappropriate development in the Met GB with no very special circumstances to justify approval. The proposal was to partially demolish, convert, and extend facilities at an existing golf club to provide 12 grass pitches, an all-weather floodlit pitch, training areas and facilities for spectators and staff. The DPM agreed with the Inspector that, although the pitches were open, the level of facilities taken as a whole would reduce the openness of the GB. A search for alternative sites was deemed insufficient, and the 500 hours of availability to local teams was insufficient to justify approval. The noise from spectators would harm the peace for nearby residents and cemetery visitors. Spelthorne BC 9 Oct 2002. DCS 35648986

Wooden play structure refused in GB - Located on an open hillside in the Bath conservation area, an application was made for the temporary retention of a wooden climbing frame adjoining a farm. It was refused because it harmed the setting of Bath, a world heritage site, the openness of the GB, and the Cotswolds area of outstanding natural beauty. The Inspector agreed noting that even the temporary permission could extend for many years. Bath & NE Somerset C 13 Aug 2002. DCS 30984014.

GB racecourse refused at Fairlop Water, Essex - the Deputy Prime Minister (DPM) over-ruled an Inspector, and refused a new racecourse in the Met GB. An oval all-weather track, 7-storey grandstand with a restaurant and a health & fitness centre, stables, country park and hostel for grooms was proposed on a 125 ha site of farmland and recreational use. Various appeals were involved. The Inspector said the racecourse itself was appropriate in the GB, but the associated buildings 1Km long and covering 2.25ha, and 10ha car park were inappropriate. A very special circumstance was the important and necessary contribution to a major economic and leisure interest attracting a new audience to horse racing. No assessment had been made of alternative sites at a national level, but it would represent a public benefit, and the measures proposed would mitigate the impact on the landscape. The DPM decided the benefits did not outweigh the substantial harm to the openness of the GB, the adverse impact on the landscape, ecological disturbance and increased road and public transport congestion. LB Redbridge 31 July 2002. DCS 37304853

Garden floodlights not OK in GB - The Inspector allowed floodlights for a tennis court at a private house in the GB, being intended for recreational use by the occupants making it an appropriate development. The Coucil went to Court and the Judge decided it should be referred back to the SoS because planning policies had been misapplied. The Council argued that it was detremental to the visual amenity of the locality. RB Windsor & Maidenhead 2 May 2002 Ref CO/1485/2002. UPDATE 19 July 2002 - The SoS overruled the Inspector, argeeing with the Council that the Inspector's approach was wrong and he had misapplied GB policy. The floodlights were inappropriate and no very special circumstances had bee proven.

Aberdeen tennis centre refused on GB and sustainability grounds - Aberdeen BC supported an application for new buildings containing tennis, badmionton and squash courts, and swimming, fitness and dance facilities. It was called in and the Scottish Minister agreed it met with policies to encourage sports & recreation facilities and benefit local people. But it conflicted with structure plan GB policies, was not appropriate to the rural character of the area and was not in a sustainable location since it required car use. Aberdeen CC 6 June 2002. DCS 31715331.

Summerhouse & mobile home cannot be replaced by log cabin on banks of Thames - Occupancy of the existing structures were legally restricted to 1Marcyh to 31 October, and for leisure and recreational use. They were well shielded from view. A log cabin would be more substantial and be a permanent residence with was inappropriate in the GB. It would significantly increase the amount of ground covered in the flood plain contrary to PPG25 on flooding. Putting the cabin on piers would not guarantee retaining flood capacity because they might obstruct flood debris. RB Windsor & Maidenhead 10 April 2002 DCS 56930158.

Rugby football stadium approved in GB - at the edge of Newcastle upon Tyne because of its sporting benefits and regenerative effects on the region. The Inspector said these were very special circumstances allowing the development in the GB. It will be on the site of two existing sports grounds, and will be done in partnership with Newcastle ugby Football Club, Univ. of Northumbria and Northumberland Rugby Union. It would be within the footprint of the existing facility and the harm to the GB was limited in scale and extent and capable of mitigation, with limited visual impact. The degree of enclosure would limit noise, and a green travel package was proposed. It was not something that could be split up and developed on alternative sites. Newcastle CC 14 March 2002. DCS 46946960

Rossendale (Lancs) hotel etc refused - The 1.37ha site in the Twine Valley Country Park already had a pub and restaurantaimed at anglers. An application was made for a hotel, conference centre, leisure facilities and self-catering chalets. The appellant claimed very special circumstances for this GB development which would promote the area as a tourist focal point in the Lancashire Hill Countrycreating employment. the Inspector noted the existing businesses were thriving but no argument had been put forward to justify the proposals or any unique qualities for the site. No comparison had been made with alternative sites not in a country park location. The buildings would be relatively distinctive built features visible from various vantage points, harming the openness of the countryside, even when the landscaping had matured. It was not sustainable being remote from public transport. Rossendale BC 14 Feb 2002. DCS 45533145

Fishing lake approved - Not in the GB but of interest. The Inspector approved a fishing lake being a low-intensity pursuit which would not generate peak concentrations of activity, or much additional traffic. It would meet a Structure Plan objective of diverting pressure for recreational activity away from more environmentally sensitive areas. It was reasonably accessible to major transport routes and there was a limited bus service. The landscape was unremarkable and featureless, so it would add variety and interest. With appropriate conditions it would protect the countryside from developments which would adversely affect the character or amenity. Bassetlaw DC 28 Jan 2002. DCS 26306665

Swimming pool extension at leisure club OK - A private leisure club in the Met.GB was given permission for a 408sqm extension for an indoor swimming pool. The Inspector said it was a sizeable increase making it an inappropriate development. But the good screening meant that there was limited harm to the openness, and a careful design would improve the appearance of the building, creating a very special circumstance, coupled with a willingness to surrender permission for a 270sqm indoor putting green. Brentwood DC 2 Jan 2002. DCS 38680485.

Polo ground fencing refused - An Inspector gave retrospective approval to fencing round an all-weather polo ground at Westcroft Park, Chobham Surrey. he Council took this to Court and had the decision overturned on grounds of rediced openness of the countryside. Fresh evidence on the Inspector's interpretation of some of the witness statements was not allowed. Surrey Heath BC v SoSDETR 29 Jan 2002 - ef CO/3747/2001

Two chicken sheds cannot become a ballroom dance studio - With a combined floorspace of 965msq and ridge height of 6.75m, major reconstruction would be necessary including replacement of the upper floors and a new roof structure. Cpouple that with a new carpark and it became inappropriate development in the GB, undermining the openness of the area. It did not comply with PPG13 because access had to be by car. The high standard of the existing studio was not a very special circumstance. Solihull MBC 21 Nov 2001. DCS 42756736.

Corporate hospitality at GB farm refused -The owner of a Surrey GB farm intended using it for corporate hospitality on 28 days a years and for grazing and training horses the rest of the year. The argument was that it was a temporary use permitted under the General Permitted Development Order 1995. The Inspector noted that the hardstandings were permanent, making it a permanent if intermittent change. This was inappropriate, as was the propsed horse paddock for private recreational use. It harmed the Surrey Hills area of outstanding natural beauty, Guildford BC 7 Nov 2001. DCS 34251421

Derby football academy permitted in GB - Derby County Football Club gained approval from the SoS for a football academy, training ground etc in the Derby GB, comprising 6 full-sized grass football pitches, 2 three quarter sized pitches & an indoor sports hall totalling 17.5ha of agricultural land. While the Inspector concluded it was an inappropriate development it would not lead to unrestricted spawl or merging of towns because of the majority of the site would remain open. The local rural scene was pleasant but unexceptional. very special circumstances were that the club needed the facilities to attract and retain talented youngsters, with a knock-on effect potentially the club's Premier League status. The club had a leading role in the city and needed to compete on an equal footing with similar clubs.

There would be limited community and educational use of the facilities and a green travel plan to asist minimise car journeys. It accorded with government guidance on promoting sporting excellence, which was a very special circumstance. A single site was needed and there were no suitable alternatives. There would be limited harm to the GB. Erewash BC 13 Aug 2001. DCS No. 42169386.

Sports facilities approved in GB - The SoS agreed with the Inspector and granted permission for a range of recreational and sporting activities on 12.8ha of GB land on the fringes of Hertford. It involved a golf driving range, a 9,150 sqm building for squash & tennis courts, swimmming pool, gym, fitness suite, restaurant & health & beuaty facilities. Outside would be another swimming pool, tennis courts, volleyball & basketball courts. The Inspector noted that the main building and a proportion of the car park would be inappropriate development. This was outweighed by a greater need for the project, its sustainable nature arising from the single location and improvements to nature conservation interests. No other sites were availablenear Hertford and a green travel plan and other measures would enhance accessability. E Herts DC 2 July 2001 - DCS No. 30303255

WW2 hangar replacement disallowed in GB - Redfhill Aerpodrome Ltd wanted to replace 2 World War 2 aircraft hangars, arguing that they related to recreational flying and were therefore appropriate development in the GB. The Inspector ruled that it was not possible to confine the use to recreational flying, and the hangars could be used commercially at some point. The propsed replacement would have a smaller footprint, but would have a greater volume, height and bulk. The propsed access and carpark were also inappropriate. there would be an encroachment on the undeveloped part of the aerodrome. The improved access and ability to enhance safety did not create a 'very special circumstance'. Tanmdridge DC 17 May 2001. DCS No. 3868600

Sports Centre in Scottish GB - Against the advice of its officers, the City of Aberdeen approved outline propsals for a 10,695 sqm building containg a swimming pool, 7 tennis courts, a fitness centre, squash and badminton courts and restaurant on a site 8km west of the city on GB land. Outside would be a further 6 tennis courts, another swimming pool and 300 car spaces. It has been referred to the Scottish Executive. May 2001.

Golf clubhouse rejected as too large and not essential in GB - Permission refused for golf clubhouse extending 805 sqm into the Bristol & Bath GB. the Inspector said it was too large for the needs of an 18-hole golf course for which permission had previousluy been granted. The appellant claimed it was the minimum to compete with the best clubs nationally and internationally. The Inspector disagreed. the pro's shop would be 89sqm, dining room 77sqm, lo8unge 87 sqm, spike bar 77sqm. exceeded 'essential'. A dining room to seat 100 at dinner was not genuinely required to play golf. In GB terms 'essential' was a strong word imposing a high standard of proof. Each case had to stand on its own merits. Costs were not awarded against the Council because it had fully substantiated its reasons for refusal, and there was no clear evidence of any inconsistency in applying GB policy. S Gloucs Council 6 March 2001 - DCS No 34137404.

Golf club extension is 'not essential' - A 20% increase in the size of a golf clubhouse was not an essential facility for outdoor sports as defined in the local plan policy. The existing toilets and changing room areas were essential and below standard, but the clubhouse also contained a bar, lounge area, committee room and large professional shop. The clubhouse had already been doubled in size when an additional 18 holes were created, and already contained facilities and services beyond 'essential'. Many of the perceived shortcomings could be addressed within the existing building, the Inspector concluded. The site was in the GB. Bournemouth BC 19 April 2001. DCS No. 35883505.

 Football club development refused in GB - the SoS noted that some aspects of the scheme would be acceptable in the GB, such as the relocation of an existing sports pitch and provision of 2 7-a-side pitches and a bowling green. However the scheme had to be looked at as a whole, including the new buildings, fencing, floodlights and car parking. the new stand would be in a more elevated position and be an obtrusive spectator accommodation, and not as envisaged in PPG2.

Elements such as a gym and community room were not 'essential facilities'. Overall, the scheme would give added emphasis to the urban character of the site, and the very special circumstances of community benefit were insufficient to be an exception to GB policy. he said it was a finely balanced proposal with positive aspects but he refused to grant permission. Oldham MBC 8 March 2001 DCS No. 38840815.

Boathouse refused in GB - The Inspector did not follow a previous decision on a nearby site where it was held that a replacement boathouse was essential for outdoor use and recreation. In this case it was concluded that the boathouse was desirable but not essential. In Court, the Judge said the Inspector had taken it into account but was not bound by it. The Inspector was free to interpret 'essential'. Royal Borough of Windsor 24 Nov 2000 - CO/3165/2000. Note - PPG2 does not spell out exactly what tests to apply for being 'essential'.

New racecourse in GB? - Developers hope to build the first new racecourse in Britian for over 70 years, at Fairlop Water, East London - a former gravel pit. They have appealed against the planning refusal by L/B Redbridge, who said it was inappropriate in the GB and would have a harmful visual impact. A public inquiry will be held in January 2001.

Sports & leisure club with equestrian facilities allowed in GB - Located on a 38ha farm in the GB outside Burnley, it included indoor tennis and squash courts, gym, aerobic studios, swimming pool, refreshment facilities, and an indoor riding arena, all-weather gallop and stables. The Inspector said some elements were appropriate in the GB, but overall it was inappropriate. However very special circumstances justified approval, including meeting local deficiences and providing the town with a comprehensive range of sports and leisure facilities. The purposes and role of the GB would not be undermined since 93% of the site would remain undeveloped. Existing leisure clubs were either small-scale or located within existing leisure centres. Alternative sites had been assessed but none were suitable. Approval was subject to a S106 agreement for a green transport plan including a dedicated mini-bus. Ref T/APP/Z3635/A/00/1042705. Inquiry 6 October 2000.

Indoor riding arena refused in the GB - The High Court upheld the Inspector's decision to refuse an indoor equestrian sports centre in Barnet, despite claims that the inquiry had been unfair. Barnet refused permission because the building floor area increase from 1,865 sqm to 7,830 sqm shifted the balance from outdoor to indoor activities, making it inappropriate in the GB. The original Inspector fell ill and Belmont Riding Centre Ltd claimed that the handover notes, for the replacement Inspector, were insufficient. The judge disagreed. Ref CO/4539/1999. 12 Oct 2000.

Sports club in GB quarry site rejected - A 2 hectare quarry in Essex (Thurrock Council) was to be reclaimed for use as a sports club and outdoor recreation area in a landscaped setting. The appellant claimed this complied with GB polIcy. If that arguement was not accepted, the degraded nature of the site amounted to very special circumstances justifying permission under PPG2. The Inspector disagreed, saying this argument could be used too often. The SoS agreed that it did not fall within PPG2 definition of essential facilities for outdoor sport and outdoor recreation. There was no overriding need, and it would not have any significant effect in reducing vehicle numbers and journey lengths. Deleting a motel and restaurant from the scheme amounted to a substantial alteration. The SoS ruled that no prejudice would arise in relation to allowing third parties to comment. Hearing date 19 Sept 2000. Ref - APP/M1595/A/98/298370;Inquiry

Two councils criticised for dealings with GB sports facilities scheme - East Herts DC and Herts CC were guilty of maladministration over a planning application for outdoor sports facilities on GB land. Planning permission was granted in 1996 on the basis that the playing surfaces would be created by re-contouring snad and gravel already present on the site. The owner subsequentkly said this was not possible and required the export and import of materials, which was granted in 1997. Probnlems on the site required three extensions of time to complete the works.

Three local residents complained that both councils failed to properly control the development. The Ombudsman found maladministration in handling the case and awarded £1,500 compenmsation to one resident and £250 each to the other two.

Nine-hole golf course on GB land approved - Wyre Forest District Council refused a 9-hole course to be built next to an existing 18-hole course at Stourport on Severn. They said the landfill operation to landscape the site would be inappropriate in the GB. The inspector disagreed, saying that the resultant use would not be inappropriate. Although the landscape would change, it would rest comfortably with the undulating features of the wider landscape.

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