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Planning inspectors are entitled to take a view of the impact development would have on the green belt and make the...
Planning inspectors are entitled to take a view of the impact development would have on the green belt and make their decisions accordingly, even if they do not have the benefit of text relating to the local policy when they reach their decisions.

The high court has backed the decision of an inspector who upheld a local authority refusal of plans for a new roof in a separate garage at a property situated in the green belt. The plan was to create a recreational area in the roof with an external staircase.

In challenging a planning inspector's backing for local authority refusal of the scheme, the owner of the property argued that the inspector did not have the relevant supporting text for the local policy before her at the time she reached her decision and as a result adopted the wrong approach towards the policy.

Mr Justice Richards agreed that it was unfortunate that the inspector did not have the information before her and that this could have had an impact on her application of the local policy.

However, he considered that despite this, even if there had been an error in local policy application, the inspector's findings in respect of the harmful effects of the proposal were clear and these would not have been affected by lack of information on the local policy.

The garage in question was 20 metres from the home of the planning applicant and in an area of green belt also classed as an area of outstanding natural beauty.


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