Aitchison Raffety has obtained planning permission for the conversion of an outbuilding within the garden of a property within the Hertfordshire Green Belt, to create a separate three bedroom dwelling.
The Council accepted that the change of use of the building to a dwelling was not inappropriate development within the Green Belt, having regard to paragraph 146 of the National Planning Policy Framework (NPPF) which permits ‘the re-use of buildings’.
The scheme included the extension of the building to provide a better living environment for future occupiers. This was justified on the basis of the demolition of another garden building which was no longer needed by the applicant. Officers accepted that the extension would not result in a significant impact on the character and appearance of the countryside or openness of the Green Belt.
The building to be converted was situated in the rear garden of the property and also within a Conservation Area. However, officers accepted that a dwelling on this backland plot would not be unacceptable having regard to the general character of the area.
The decision confirms that it is possible, in some circumstances, to convert garden buildings into dwellings within the Green Belt, including outbuildings that may have been originally constructed under Permitted Development.
It also demonstrates that garden buildings that are no longer needed can be demolished to facilitate larger and more beneficial developments on plots within the Green Belt.