Tag: Green belt

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Green Belt Areas: Everything You Need To Know

England’s 14 green belts cover around 12.4% of land in the country and provide a breath of fresh air for 30 million people. 

What is a green belt area?  

A green belt is a policy and land use zone designation used in land use planning. They retain areas of largely undeveloped, wild, or agricultural land surrounding or neighboring urban areas.  

There are three different types of land and they are:  

  • Brownfield – land that has been built on previously, but is now vacant or in need of redevelopment.  
  • Greenfield – land that has not been built on before (agricultural/grassland). 
  • Green belt – highly protected land with tight restrictions on development.  

Local planning authorities are extremely cautious about their green belt areas. This is because the purpose of one is to capture the fugitive emissions emanating from plant operations, alternate the noise generated and improve the aesthetic. 

New homes can be allowed in the green belt if they meet the need. And this exception only applies to specific policies in the local plan. And only then if the need for those homes is clearly demonstrated they will be able to live in a green belt area. Developers need to submit a case for very special circumstances in which the building would outweigh the resulting harm to the environment.  

How much does it cost to buy green belt land?  

The cost of the land largely depends on whether it has planning permission or not. Green belt land is usually cheap if it doesn’t have consent to build on. It is cheap because of the strong building restrictions. However, if the area has consent to build on it could sell for about £500,000 per acre. 

Green belts are intended to check further growth of large built-up areas such as London. This is because they need to prevent neighboring towns from merging into one another.

You definitely can’t overlook the benefits that green belts can offer for your health and wellbeing. For example, being in the countryside where it’s rich with nature, and there’s plenty of fresh air for everyone to enjoy. They also double up as local nature reserves. So, they work brilliantly for wildlife, allowing creatures to move between habitats safely and flourish in a mix of landscapes. 

Instead of viewing the Green Belts as a limitation to building more homes, we need to focus on restoring and enhancing the land. So, it can continue to provide a space for nature and a place to relax, play and grow our food. 

Hellerick – Own work

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How to get planning permission on green belt land Kent?

Over the years there are a large number of misunderstandings about the purpose of green belt land, and whether you can get planning permission for it. While green belts are extremely important and should be preserved to protect the countryside and urban areas. There are circumstances, that extensions and alterations can be permitted.  

A strategic land availability assessment must consider the following factors:  

  • Firstly, flood risk  
  • National parks  
  • Heritage coast 
  • Heritage assessment  
  • Sites of special scientific interest 
  • Areas of outstanding natural beauty  
  • Finally, protected sites (birds and habitat directives) 

local planning authorities shouldn’t approve the construction of new buildings unless they propose the following exceptions: 

  • Firstly, Agricultural buildings 
  • Limited infilling in some villages 
  • Facilities for outdoor sport and recreation  
  • The replacement of an existing building by one that is not materially larger 
  • The extension or alteration of an existing building.
  • Facilities for cemetaries

Why would you want to develop on green belt land?  

The main reason people want to develop on this land is because it is cheap. For example:  

A 15-acre site in Epping has a guide price of £145,000. 

As green belt land that works out to be £0.22 per square foot. 

And if it got residential planning approval it could be worth £570 per square foot. 

How to get planning permission?  

The national planning policy framework states that “inappropriate development is, by definition, harmful to the green belt and should not be approved except in very special circumstances”.  

An experienced architect or architectural technologist can usually get you planning permission to make reasonably sized additions to your house or to replace it with something larger.  

In addition, securing new development on green belt land will depend on aspects of design quality. There is a presumption in favour of development for buildings or infrastructure that promote high levels of sustainability.  

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