Inspector Hoile and the Case of the Green Belt Orangery.




If you are refused planning permission you can always go to appeal, and hope that a planning inspector rules in your favour. Sometimes planning appeals deal with big developments, but they can also deal with small ones – such as a recent appeal over an orangery in Rochford.

As far as we can see, ‘orangery’ is a nice word for a nice conservatory big enough to grow oranges in. This was an application for a very nice structure indeed. It would be a 49 square metre orangery, attached to New Hall, in Sutton Road, Rochford, a fine 18th century house sensitively restored by its current owners. It’s considered that they have done a good job in repairing the building. They have already had one well-designed extension added, in which the extra floor area was small enough not to require planning permission. Now they wanted the orangery – but the District Council refused planning permission under the Green Belt rules.

The applicants argued that there were special circumstances here that should allow permission – but the council had said no, this was basically an extension in the Green Belt and that beyond a certain point, such extensions weren’t allowed.

What would an inspector decide? The inquiry was held by planning inspector C J Hoile on February 7th. He ruled that “I can find nothing in the arguments of behalf of the appellants to persuade me that exceptional circumstances exist in this case” and refused permission.

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