March 2024

At the lower end of the scale JPPC has been successful on appeal in relation to two minor developments in SODC where we had felt that the Council was being unduly harsh in its view of new works.  In the first case, a proposal to add a roof extension to a garage at a house in Marsh Baldon has been allowed after the Inspector agreed with us that it would not constitute disproportionate extension of the original house; this being the test for extensions to Green Belt dwellings.  In the second case, SODC has refused planning permission for a very minor development of a belvedere, in essence, a small, yet attractive folly type structure with a hexagonal plan and an open front and thatched roof in the Chilterns Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty near Henley.  SODC had said that despite its attractive appearance that the belvedere would harm the beauty of the AONB.  The Inspector however found that the building was appropriate to its context and purpose and would not harm the appearance of the area or AONB.  Whilst not a positive enhancement, the structure would not conflict with policies on conservation.

These appeals bring two reminders.  Firstly, that the government has rebranded AONBs as ‘National Landscapes’. Secondly, that these minor appeals both took six months to be processed and decided by the Planning Inspectorate.  Neither was controversial or had any complications.