Green Belt

March 14th, 2017 by James Goudie KC

In Samuel Smith Old Brewery v North Yorkshire County Council [2017] EWHC 442 (Admin) Hickinbottom J held that, depending on the specific circumstances of a case, visual impact might be taken into account by a planning decision-maker when considering the impact of a proposed development on the openness of a green belt area. Factors such as visual impact, purpose, and degree of permanence and reversibility, were not matters to which, as a matter of law, a planning decision-maker had to have regard in every case in which a proposed development was in a green belt area, or even in every such case in which openness was an issue. They were factors to which the decision-maker might have regard if, on the facts of the particular case, in the exercise of his judgment and discretion he thought it right to do so. In other words, the decision-maker had a margin of appreciation within which he might decide just which consideration should play a part in his reasoning process.

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