Planning permission was refused by the London Borough of Havering for five dwellings on a previously developed site in the Borough’s Green Belt. The decision was made by Planning Committee resolution contrary to the recommendation of Officers of the Council.

The committee’s principal rationale was that the proposal constitutes inappropriate development and would be harmful to the Green Belt. This is despite the site, a former poultry farm, being substantially populated with existing buildings and hardstandings that have been in unfettered commercial use for several years following the cessation of the poultry farm use.

A second reason for refusal concerned the absence of a developer contribution towards education provision in Havering, despite the applicant never disputing the appropriateness of the contribution.

Smart Planning were instructed following the conclusion of the refused planning application process to lodge an appeal against the London Borough of Havering’s decision.

Given that the site had been used for an extended period by a variety of small businesses since the closure of the poultry farm and is thus previously developed land, coupled with the proposal being of markedly less volume than the existing situation, Smart Planning successfully argued that the proposal does not constitute inappropriate development and will not be harmful to the Green Belt. The appointed Planning Inspector agreed wholly with Smart Planning’s case.

Smart Planning also successfully negotiated the completion of a relevant legal agreement to overcome the second reason for refusal within the constraint of the appeal timetable.

Accordingly the appeal was allowed by the Planning Inspectorate and planning permission granted.