Green Belt Assessment / Gap Analysis

Green Belt Assessments

The need to find sustainable locations for new homes to meet UK housing needs, means that Local Authorities are often required to review the extent of Green Belt within their boundaries as part of an update to the Local Plan. CSA has extensive experience of promoting land through this process, where success hinges on releasing the Site from the Green Belt. CSA’s Green Belt assessments are based on our robust Green Belt methodology which assesses land parcels and their performance against the NPPF Green Belt purposes. We have used this methodology to assess numerous individual sites as well as whole districts, identifying those land parcels that perform weakest.

In addition to strategic Green Belt releases, CSA’s Landscape Planning team have worked on numerous exception sites within the Green Belt, involving the redevelopment of previously developed land. Critical to the success of an application of this nature is the impact of development on the ‘openness’ of the Green Belt as set out under paragraph 145 of the NPPF. CSA’s Landscape Planning team have a good understanding of relevant Green Belt case law, which considers each application on its own merits. Our assessments, present a robust appraisal of a proposals impact on the physical and visual aspects of openness, and present a clear and robust case to support development.

Gap / Green Wedge Analysis

CSA have many years’ experience in providing clients with valuable landscape advice in relation to the potential to develop within areas covered by Local Plan policies relating to Gaps and Wedges. By designing a scheme sensitively from the outset, the effects of the proposed development on a Gap will already be reduced. We have helped many of our clients over the years to gain planning permission for development within Gaps and Wedges, as well as in instances where a Council allege harm to the separation of settlements (where no Gap policies exist or apply). We do this by undertaking a thorough and realistic assessment of the effects, in order to not only give our clients and the Council the best advice but also to produce and give robust evidence at appeal and at Public Inquiries. Considerations vary with policy wording, however typically include effects on the openness of the gap, inter-visibility and the character of individual settlements.

CSA have a proud record of winning Gap arguments at appeal, and producing strong evidence to clarify the potential effects of developments.