London Green Belt Council

Green Belt appeal decisions

Hotels, restaurants, service stations etc.


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

Cheshire GB Grade 11 listed hotel extension refused.   A country house built in 1903 had been converted from an arts and crafts centre to a hotel and a separate bedroom annexe had been linked to the main house by a substantial conservatory which served as a dining room.  The application was for a further extension providing 4 staff bedrooms and further serviced accommodation.  The remote location and poor public transport made it difficult to recruit staff.   The inspector decided it would reduce the openness of the GB and the improved staff recruitment and retention and reduced staff travel did not outweigh the harm.  DCS 100042524.  23.6.06


Herts GB budget hotel approved.  The site was next to a filling station, a retail development and a slip road serving the M25.  Based on the likely catchment area, no sequentially preferable sites were available.  Without sufficient hotel accommodation in the area business growth would be restricted, reducing inward investment, tourism growth and undermine the local economy.  These were sufficient very special circumstances.  DCS 39300178.  August 2004.      

Surrey GB restaurant cannot become car showrooms – the restaurant building was somewhat eccentric, and appeared to be not well maintained, and the large car park was scruffy.  Although the replacement building would look better it was 21% bigger, reducing the openness and erode a gap between nearby settlements.  DCS 38713184  October 2003.

Cheshire Motorway Service Areas refused - Located in the GB, three MSAs proposals were made for the M6 Junctions 21 and 22, one by the Manchester Ship Canal Co & two by Swayfields Ltd. The Inspector noted that existing MSAs met the 30-mile separation criteria. The DPM agreed that infill MSAs should only be approved exceptionally and where there was a compelling need and safety case had been established. Parking areas at local MSAs were rarely full; government policy was to reduce car travel; and there was spare capacity at existing MSAs. Warrington BC 25 July 2002. DCS 36841590

Decking at hotel is a development and would harm the GB - A hotel had installed a large area of timber decking and gas heaters plus 5 'sunbrellas' measuring 4.4sqm slotted into concrete foundations. The owner claimed it had been built without special building skills, and the sunbrellas had minimum attachment to the grounds and could be quickly dismantled, so no development had taken place within the meaning of S55 of the T&CPA 1990. The Inspector upheld an enforcement order, noting that the decking and foundations would be there for many years, and the foundations required accuracy to allow the canopoies to be zipped together, so a development had taken place. The canopies were very large reducing the openness of the countryside and harm the amenities of nearby residents. The sunbrellas were not essential to the long-term viability of the hotel, but the decking could remain being consistent with GB objectives. Royal Borough of Windsor & Maidenhead 21 Aug 2002. DCS 30110835.

GB motorway service station refused - The Inspector refused a new Motorway & trunk road service area (MSA), linked to a park&ride facility, to fill the 53km gap between M5 MSAs between Cheltenham & Gloucester, despite developer's claims that there was no alternative site and it would provide an intergrated transport scheme. The local authority opposed it as inappropriate, harmful to the GB, and no need for this facility according to the Highways Agency. Existing MSA operators also opposed it. The Inspector noted that guidance supported upgrading existing facilities before infilling, and the P&R facility was premature pending a full review of non-GB sites. The DPM agreed except he said developers should identify potential MSAs which should then be assessed against government & other policy guidance. Tewkesbury BC 16 Aug 2002. DCS 35587440.

2-Storey hotel extension allowed in GB - Travelodge wanted a two storey 20-bedroom extension at the M25 Clacket Lane service area in the Surrey Hills, in the same general area as a 12-bed extension had already been approved. The local council supported it on sustainability grounds - motorists need not leave the motorway - and consistent with the function of a service area. Although inappropriate, the Inspector said it was not much bigger that the approved extension, it was relatively unobtrusive and there was an unmet demand. The SoS agreed that this was a very special circumstance. Tandridge DC 23 Oct 2001. DCS 34713175

Airport hotel refused - A 129-bed hotel with conference facilities was rejected by Scottish ministers, being near Edinburgh airport and in the green eblt. The 3 & a half storey building would have been 8,619 sqm. the Inspector concluded that although there was a significant demand for the hotel accommodation, there were no exceptional circumstances. City of Edinburgh C 27 Aug DCS No 46000963.

Pumping station cannot become a pub and travel inn. - The Inspector turned down an appeal to convert a grade 11 pumping station into a pub and travel inn. It would conflict with GB policy, and there were insufficient details on the effect of internal alterations on the listed building. the need for a new use for the listed building did not outweigh the harm to its character and openness of the area. L/B Waltham Forest 26 March 2001. DCS No. 40335000.

Motorway services toilet block approved - At the Hilton Service Area on the M6 in Staffordshire, approval was given for an extension to an amenity block, even though it was on GB land. Although it was an inappropriate development, it met the needs of motorway users at an established feature so it was not contributing to urban sprawl. The impact was slight. South Staffs DC. 23 Jan 2001. Ref T/APP/C3430/A/00/1049883.

Hotel and leisure facilities extension approved in GB - The SoS approved plans to extend a hotel and to provide further hotel and leisure facilities along with a replacement dwelling in the Met. GB in Essex. He agreed that there was a need for extra hotel accommodation in the area and the extension would not adversely affect the openness of the countryside. The removal of a scrapyard would be advantageous, and a hotel would not cause materially more harm. The facilities had to be of a certain size and scale to cater for conferences etc. Any flood risk could be managed by raising floor levels and other measures. Brentwood BC 20 Dec 2000. Ref APP/H515/A/00/1038648

Hotel permitted in GB - Whitbreads won approval for a 60-bed budget hotel and free-standing restaurant on land partly used for car boot sales. The 1.77ha site between Rainham and Purfleet, east of London, contained a number of former farm buildings and a lawful use for general industry, vehicle breaking and haulage. As a pocket of development within the GB area, it was inappropriate. However the existing car boot sale use had a substantial visual impact and created highway congestion. the proposed development would not reduce the openness of the landscape nor conflict with the purposes of including the site within the GB. the creation of a landscaped meadow would enhance the setting of a nearby listed building, amounting to very special circumstances. Additional trips by car would not be significant. (London Borough of Havering)

Motel staff accommodation refused in the GB. - Friendly Inns wanted to demolish an empty 187sq. m. bungalow on the outskirts of Bristol and replace it with a 270 sq. m. building of 4 flats and 3 bedsits to house staff employed at the adjacent motel. The DETR Inspector decided it was not a replacement building, nor one of the forms of development identified in PPG2, was substantially bigger and would appear incongruous and visually intrusive. He questioned the need since it could be used as additional hotel accommodation.

Replacement of transport cafe by offices refused - DETR refused offices on GB land in Warwicks despite the local authority saying it would create 45 jobs for local people on a brownfield site. It would detract from the openness of the GB, look out of place in a countryside setting, and increase car travel. Site is in the Arden special landscape area in the GB, and currently a transport caf\'e9 . It would occupy a much larger area and be taller than the existing building. The mass and prominence would have a significantly greater impact on the site and harm the character of the area. It would be contrary to PPG13 transport guida nce which seeks to local major generators of travel in existing centres. It would generate 140 car trips a day in a rural area not served by public transport.

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