Have you ever been torn between buying from a Architectural Designers business that exhibits the same principles as yourself and another that doesn't? Do you ever give thought to the social factors that fashion your decision making on this matter?
For nearly 200 years, green belts have been prey to cultures intolerant of limitation. Consequently, they are closed, unloved landscapes, bereft of biodiversity and constraining in a sense that is far more insidious than their creators imagined. The current framework emphasises setting local targets for housing delivery. While this remains the case, local authorities will question how they can deliver their visions and ensure that the green belt remains sacrosanct, particularly if they have no suitable brownfield sites to put forward. Sustainable architects are designing with circularity at the forefront of their thinking, to make a building that can be adapted for future uses, where components and materials can continue their journey in the building cycle. Residents who live in the Green Belt may wish to build ancillary outbuildings, such as garages, summerhouses and swimming pools, within the curtilage of their dwelling. Whilst some of these proposals can be built under permitted development rights, national policy does not recognise these as exceptions to Green Belt policy in the circumstances when planning permission is required. My thoughts on Green Belt Planning Loopholes differ on a daily basis.
Questioning Green Belt DesignationGreen Belt policy has provided a framework for making some decisions around towns and cities with the planning designation in place. It is a simple framework that assumes that urban areas need open space and breathing spaces around them – for that to happen, the form and size of urban areas should be contained. If not, urban development would sprawl and settlements would become too big and lose their historic character. As farming changes, agricultural buildings in the rural area can become surplus to requirements. It may be possible to convert such buildings to other uses, but this depends on the nature of the building and the use proposed. For example, it might be more feasible to convert a traditional barn to a dwelling or holiday accommodation when compared to a modern agricultural building which is industrial in character. Many architects provide a personal and adaptable service, according to each client's understanding of the planning system and the level of support they require. Their advice is grounded in the previous experience of their team working for housebuilders, high-profile property consultancies and local government. Paragraph 89 of the NPPF states that the replacement of a building within the Green Belt is not inappropriate provided it is ‘not materially larger’ than the one it replaces and remains in the same use. It is a myth that it is impossible to get planning permission to build in the Green Belt. It does, however, demand sensitivity, experience and expertise. Designing around New Forest National Park Planning can give you the edge that you're looking for.
Conscious that their approach to the built environment has a fundamental impact on our cultural heritage, designers of homes for the green belt endeavour to achieve the perfect marriage of the poetic and the practical. It is a myth that the Green Belt is sacrosanct. Many farms and rural business lie within the Green Belt, this does not prevent them developing their homes and businesses and obtaining planning permissions for this. Many of the changes people tend to want to make to their homes, such as extensions, external changes or even knocking down and replacing a building are exceptions to the anti-development bent of Green Belt policy, and are often acceptable to local councils. Ecosystem services are the wide range of valuable benefits that a healthy natural environment provides for people, either directly or indirectly. The benefits range from the essentials for life, including clean air and water, food and fuel, to ‘cultural’ ecosystem services that improve our quality of life and wellbeing, such as recreation and beautiful landscapes. They also include natural processes, such as climate and flood regulation that we often take for granted. Proposals for new build dwellings in the green belt which are associated with existing or proposed countryside uses may be permitted provided a functional need for the dwelling is established or the design, scale and layout of the building accords with a local development plan. Taking account of Architect London helps immensely when developing a green belt project’s unique design.
Capacity, Feasibility And ViabilityA reliance solely on the market through easing Green Belt restrictions is likely to make brownfield development less attractive. It is also unlikely to deliver affordable housing to areas where it is most needed. The Green Belt should be used for development to avoid the average house price for London reaching ‘a million pounds by 2020’. While some parts of the Green Belt are indeed Sites of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI), Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty and Heritage Coasts, these are protected by other forms of planning legislation. Architects that specialise in the green belt strive to find the balance between the financial constraints of a project and the potential to explore creative design solutions towards the goal of a more sustainable environment. In terms of housebuilding, Green Belt policy is generally favourable to extending or altering an existing building, as long as it is proportionate in size, volume and design. Similarly, replacing an poor-quality existing building by one that is not materially larger and is of a higher design quality is also perfectly possible. Unimaginative design contributes to community opposition to schemes that don't make for distinctive places. We need a much more engaged conversation, starting now. We have recognised all along that some changes to the Green Belt will be necessary. Our concern is to make sure those changes are for the better. Local characteristics and site contex about Green Belt Land helps maximise success for developers.
The Green Belt’s original three principles include health, convenience and beauty. The use of Green Belt land for the pursuit of leisure conjures much public support, but the Green Belt is not geared towards public access. Whether a green belt proposal is for the remodelling of an existing house or a mixed-use development, a viability appraisal can be a useful tool from the outset of a project. It is a standalone piece of work to evaluate whether there is scope for a scheme, or to inform a project's future. The countryside is a living ecosystem that is essential for the survival of human communities both rural and urban. It has an innate value that cannot be assessed in solely monetary terms. The transition to zero carbon homes in the UK has suffered a major set-back in terms of government backing, but is nonetheless gaining in popularity and gradually becoming more mainstream. At the moment, the primary function of the green belt is to prevent urban sprawl by keeping land permanently open, but should that really be the focus? What if, instead, it concentrated on its function as an asset for the communities it serves: providing access to green infrastructure and protecting and enhancing biodiversity, while at the same time recognising the existing economic requirement for urban growth? Following up on Net Zero Architect effectively is needed in this day and age.
A Fallback PositionThe green belt policy is not without its criticisms. These have included concerns that it has limited the availability of land, pushed up the cost of new housebuilding and contributed to a crisis of supply and affordability that is affecting millions across the UK’s towns and cities. As with any land designation, the Green Belt has a planning purpose. Yet within it many forms of development can be appropriate. Even if development is considered to be inappropriate, one may be able to argue very special circumstances that outweigh any potential harm to the Green Belt caused by the development. The media might paint Britain as a land of pavement and urban sprawl, but in fact, the opposite is true. Britain is still a green and pleasant land without vast swathes of concrete. Only 10.6% of England is actually built upon, and if you take the whole of the UK, this figure drops further to 6.8%. You can find additional information about Architectural Designers at this Wikipedia entry.
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