Can I convert land from Green Belt to Garden?

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Can I convert land from Green Belt to Garden?

Postby perplex1on » Sun Oct 15, 2017 9:58 am

Morning All,

I live in an area of Green Belt and the property we own has some land across the road opposite our property we use as a garden. We have always known it is green belt and understood that we cannot build on it.

Earlier this year our next door neighbour who also have some land opposite their property next to ours called someone out to see if there was any way we could build on it. Initially the response was a resounding No, but then we were asked if the land has been used as a garden for more than 10 years, which it has. He then mentioned that as it has we could apply for a "106" to convert from garden land out of green belt?

He then put us in touch with someone who could make this happen, that was back in February. My neighbour has been dealing with this and we've asked about progress but he says he's still waiting to hear.

I've tried to look this up myself but have not been able to find anything. I have no experience in these matters and wondered if what I've been told is feasible or whether I'm holding on to a lost cause.

Any advice would be greatly appreciated

Thanks
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Re: Can I convert land from Green Belt to Garden?

Postby ukmicky » Tue Oct 17, 2017 12:35 am

Even if you changed its use to garden ,that will not mean it can automatically be built on.


I don't get what Section 106 (Planning obligations) of the Town and country planning Act has got to do with change of use.
Advice given is not legally qualified and you are advised to gain a professional opinion
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Re: Can I convert land from Green Belt to Garden?

Postby perplex1on » Wed Oct 18, 2017 9:02 am

I just read Section 106 (Planning Obligations) of the Town and Country Planning Act and I believe that was what he was referring to.

He did also mention that being able to convert the land to garden land would not automatically mean you can build on it but it does increase the likelihood considerably, thanks for confirming that.

Have you ever heard of any circumstances where after owning land and using it as a garden for more than 10 years then you could put a case forward to getting it converted to garden land?

Thanks
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Re: Can I convert land from Green Belt to Garden?

Postby MacadamB53 » Wed Oct 18, 2017 9:16 am

Hi perplex1on,

Have you ever heard of any circumstances where after owning land and using it as a garden for more than 10 years then you could put a case forward to getting it converted to garden land?

if the land has been used as a garden for +10 years then the land is a garden.

you don't need to ask for it to be so.

think of it this way...

ten years ago when you wanted to use it as a garden for the first time you would need to submit a planning application for the "change of use" and the LPA would grant or refuse pp.

you don't need to apply now, though, because it has been a garden for +10 years which means the "change of use" has de facto pp.

kind regards, Mac
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Re: Can I convert land from Green Belt to Garden?

Postby pilman » Thu Oct 19, 2017 7:03 pm

All land can be used for agricultural purposes as that does not require planning permission.

If someone wanted to create a formal decorative garden, rather than an allotment for growing vegetables, which is agricultural use, then a planning application seeking a change of use of the land would need to be made.

If such a change of use to a decorative garden was started by the owner of the land without planning permission, then that would be a breach of planning control.

The Local Planning Authority (the "LPA") have powers under the Town and Country Planning Act 1990 to issue an enforcement notice which will set out what is considered to be the breach of planning control and what is required to stop such breach, such as returning the land to its original lawful planning use.

The 1990 Act included a section that stated that after 10 years of such a change of use the time had passed for an Enforcement Notice to be issued, so that the change of use is then the lawful use of the land.

Erecting buildings on land is what is known as "operational development" and when a building has been erected without gaining planning permission, the time period for the LPA to take enforcement action is 4 years, not 10, although all buildings do need to be granted planning permission unless their erection is allowed under what are called Permitted Development Rights.

The Town and Country Planning (General Permitted Development) (England) Order 2015 is the latest amended version of the GPDO that has set out what rights were permitted under the Government rules rather than the LPA rules.

The main one that concerns residential properties is what can be erected within "the curtilage" of a dwellinghouse.

This normally means the area of land surrounding the house, so will include the front, side and rear garden areas.

The land you are describing is not within the curtilage of the dwellinghouse because it is across the road from the residential property.

It may now be used as "a garden" for the benefit of the owner of the dwellinghouse, but it will never be part of "the curtilage" that will have planning permission granted by the GPDO for outbuildings, or greenhouses to be erected on it.

It is a common misconception that use of land as a garden is the same as land that was within the curtilage of the dwellinghouse.

It will always need a planning application made to the LPA to have any building erected on the "garden" on the other side of the road. It may be granted more readily now that the use has been changed, but it will always depend on how the LPA consider such development.

The option is to erect such a building without permission and see if the LPA take enforcement action within the 4 year period after that building is erected.

If you can get past the 4 year period then the building is lawful.
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