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Building on green belt land

Request Description

My understanding is that green belt boundaries can only be altered in exceptional circumstances and that unmet housing need is unlikely to outweigh harm to the green belt to constitute the 'very special circumstances' required in the National planning Policy Framework to justify development on green belt land.

That being the case, can you please supply me with any information held by the council which sets out the very special circumstances that the council is relying on to justify an amendment to the green belt on and at the north end of Watton at Stone.

Request Date11 May 2015
Requested byIndividual 
Released Date  

13 May 2015                


 There are two separate processes  - the decision making process and the plan making process. it is easy to confuse these two processes. The NPPF and Planning Practice Guidance are, however, clear that they are separate processes, and it is important to understand the distinction between them.

For the decision making process the NPPF requires that 'very special circumstances' are demonstrated to justify development in the Green Belt. Government advice is very clear that when a planning application is being considered, unmet housing need is unlikely to outweigh harm to the Green Belt.

For the plan making process the NPPF allows Green Belt boundaries to be altered 'in exceptional circumstances', through the preparation or review of a Local Plan. In this instance unmet housing need, together with the requirement of the NPPF to promote sustainable patterns of development, can be an 'exceptional circumstance' to justify a review of Green Belt