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Planning Permission in Green Belt Areas

When it comes to building luxury properties in Green Belt areas, it can prove to be tricky as planning permission in Green Belt area can be more difficult to obtain. There are more factors that need to be taken into consideration, including the design of the building, than if it were located outside of the Green Belt area.

Many people are unaware of this until later in the process and some find it difficult to navigate which areas are Green Belt and which aren’t, as there aren’t many maps available online and many are out of date.

Urbanist architecture has created an extremely helpful interactive, up to date map. If you are building, renovating or extending in a Green Belt area, here is some helpful information on obtaining planning permission.

luxury new build home in a green belt are in surrey with multiple slim sliding doors from minimal windows
oversized sliding glass doors in a luxury new build home in surrey located in a green belt area

What is a Green Belt area?

Conservation areas, areas of outstanding national beauty (AONB) and national parks are all protected for different reasons, whether it be historical, environmental or aesthetic.

Green belt land does not provide any benefits to people around and is mainly there to prevent urban cities from expanding.

Other purposes for Green Belt areas include “preventing neighbouring towns merging into one another, assisting in safeguarding the countryside from encroachment, preserving the setting and special character of historic towns and to assist in urban regeneration, by encouraging the recycling of derelict and other urban land”[1].

However, as the need for housing around densely populated areas grows, only allowing houses to be built further away increases how many people are commuting and how far, possibly cancelling out the good that smaller cities are doing for the environment.

As the aim of these areas is to stop urban areas expanding, planning permission in Green Belt areas can be tricky, but there are tips to help increase your chances.

three pane minimal windows slim sliding door and gable end glazing in a luxury new green belt area home
unique and innovative new build home in a green belt location with minimal windows slim sliding glass doors

Planning Permission in Green Belt Areas

The National Planning Policy Framework (NPPF) sets out government-led planning policies across England and guidelines for how these are to be applied and followed.

Many Green Belt sites are far from green, with a significant amount being brownfield sites or underutilised land. This means choosing land that cannot be used for agriculture and is not home to wildlife increases the chances of planning permission in Green Belt areas being obtained for new properties.

Paragraph 145 of the NPPF explains that new-build homes would be considered ‘harmful’ to the Green Belt areas, and so for planning permission to be granted, a case has to be made that the benefits of this build outweigh the harm to the area.

Building or infrastructures that promote high levels of sustainability are more likely to be favoured in terms of planning permission, according to Paragraph 11 of the NPPF.

Another factor to consider is that councils have to demonstrate they have enough housing for the area’s occupants, for the next five years. If they fail to show they have this, then planning permission for building in the surrounding Green Belt areas is less likely to be approved.

award winning field house project with a two pane minimal windows sliding glass door and oversized gable end window
highly glazed design for planning permission in green belt areas

How Can minimal windows® Help?

Under Paragraph 79, also known as the ‘country house exemption clause’, means that exceptions can be made for exceptionally unique and innovative building designs.

In places such as Green Belt areas and AONB, if a building design is of ‘exceptional quality’ and would help to ‘raise the standards of design in the areas and enhance the surrounding setting ‘ it may be approved for planning permission in Green Belt areas when other proposals would be denied.

Many projects that feature minimal windows would be classed as a building design of exceptional quality due to their unique and innovative designs that raise the bar for residential architecture.

Factors such as sustainability and biophilic design can aid in obtaining planning permission in Green Belt areas, as these types of buildings would not harm or disrupt the surrounding nature and would not disrupt the look of the landscape.

minimal windows systems have exceptional performance levels and utilising our 4+ framing profile allows the sliding and pivoting door systems to achieve high thermal performance levels, helping to lower carbon footprints.

Incorporating large glazing elevations into the home design contributes towards the aim of not disrupting the look of the landscape, and the clear and minimal design does not contrast with nature, only highlights it.

Our systems are unmatched in both performance and design, making them the perfect choice for luxury properties that are designed to these high standards.

For more information on planning permission in green belt areas, contact the minimal windows UK team today.

[1] National Planning Policy Framework – Page 41