Smart Planning has successfully obtained planning permission for the demolition of a former Scout Hut and the erection of a three-bedroom bungalow with associated vehicular access and parking within the Thurrock Green Belt.

The application (on previously developed land) sought to trade-in the existing building on site and its resultant volume for a new dwelling. Whilst part of the Scout Hut had collapsed it was still clearly identifiable on site and had not blended into the landscape sufficiently for the land not to be deemed previously developed by definition. This had also been confirmed through a formal pre-application.

During the preparation of plans, we worked closely with the appointed Architect to ensure that the new dwelling would have a good design and appearance, whilst also making the most of the fantastic countryside views on offer.

However, more crucial to the success of the application was that the proposed dwelling had a total volume roughly equal to that of the Scout Hut. Therefore, no greater impact on the openness of the Green Belt would have resulted.

The Planning Officer was satisfied that the proposal would fall “within the NPPF’s exceptions to inappropriate development in the Green Belt in paragraph 145(g)“.

Additional information was also submitted to justify the loss of a building last within community use. The Scout Hut had effectively been abandoned and the building itself had been confirmed as “structurally unsound“. Therefore it was highly unlikely that a new community use could be found for the site without the need for significant financial input.

The proximity of the site to Langdon Hills Country Park combined with the rural locality of the site also meant that the submission of a Preliminary Ecological Assessment (PEA) was necessary. The PEA concluded that the proposal would not cause undue harm to any nearby trees or ecology on site. Mitigation measures were provided for the construction phase.

Taking all the foregoing into consideration, the proposal was found to be acceptable and planning permission granted subject to conditions, much to the delight of our clients.

18 August 2020