Latest interpretation on Paragraph 89 of the NPPF

Tue, 29 Mar 2016

The High Court in quashing an application made on behalf of London Borough of Bromley has provided further clarity to the interpretation of Paragraph 89 of the National Planning Policy Framework (“the Framework”). This case follows a list of authorities considering the exceptions to the general policy, as contained in the indents of Paragraph 89 of the Framework, that new buildings were inappropriate development in the green belt.

The local authority challenged the decision by the Inspector granting permission for the redevelopment of land already being used for a livery business. The local authority’s focus was on the sixth indent, namely,

“limited infilling or the partial or complete redevelopment of previously developed sites (brownfield land), whether redundant or in continuing use (excluding temporary buildings), which would not have a greater impact on the openness of the Green Belt and the purpose of including land within it than the existing development”.

The Council argued that applications under this indent were not only for operation development for new buildings, but also involved material changes of use for those buildings could not be appropriate development in the green belt.

The court, disagreeing, held that providing that new buildings fell within the use and other restrictions of the applicable indent of paragraph 89, the mere fact that permission for a new building might also involve a material change of use did not mean that it ceased to be appropriate development in the green belt.  The court added that to include changes of use with respect to new buildings did not involve contradicting Timmins v Gedling BC [2015] EWCA Civ 10, [2016] 1 All E.R. 895 because that case was concerned with whether there was an unstated general category of appropriate development comprising a material change of use of land.

To read the full decision and reasoning please click here.

To read Hashi Mohamed’s Planning and Environment profile, please click here.

To read Richard Kimblin QC's Planning and Environment profile, please click here.

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