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Posted 11 May 2016
by Simon Sanger-Anderson

Local Authority Newsflash – May 2016

The meaning and effect of green belt policy in the NPPF for the construction of agricultural buildings (Court of Appeal)

The Court of Appeal has considered the meaning and effect of the government’s green belt policies in the National Planning Policy Framework (NPPF) for the construction of agricultural buildings.

The court held that implicit in the policy in paragraph 89 of the NPPF is a recognition that buildings for agriculture and forestry will have to be constructed in the green belt.

The construction of these buildings will reduce the amount of green belt land without built development. However, under NPPF policy, the physical presence of such buildings in the green belt is not, in itself, regarded as harmful to the openness of the green belt or to the purposes of including land in the green belt.

Although this case creates no new law, we have circulated it because through our County Association free planning advice offer we have had a number of queries from Parish Councils around what is permissible development for agricultural or forestry purposes on green belt/agricultural land adjoining residential properties, where the Parish Council has received strenuous representations from residents concerned at the possibility of significant forestry activity starting or re-starting.

(R (Lee Valley Regional Park Authority) v Epping Forest District Council and another [2016] EWCA Civ 404.)

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About the author

Simon Sanger-Anderson

Consultant and Solicitor

Consultant and solicitor within the firm's registered providers team