On Tuesday evening Woking Borough Council’s planning committee resolved to grant planning permission for the restoration of, and change of use of a Grade II manor house and outbuildings in Green Belt to a school and erection of 151 dwellings. The committee agreed that the development would deliver significant benefits by bringing back into use historic buildings, providing additional school places as well as providing new market houses and affordable houses to contribute towards meeting the Borough’s housing need. The Committee agreed that on balance there were very special circumstances that outweighed any harm to the Green Belt and this enabled them to support the planning application.
Image of Broadoaks development, West Byfleet (image curtesy of Octagon).
On Wednesday evening two further applications were approved by Basingstoke and Deane Borough Council’s planning committee. Bell Cornwell secured planning for the redevelopment of a commercial storage yard and the erection of a detached dwelling, following demolition of the existing commercial buildings and removal of hardstanding and B8 storage use on the site.
At the same committee meeting Bell Cornwell secured planning permission for the erection of a dwelling in the countryside, outside the formal settlement boundary. Despite a recommendation to refuse planning permission on the basis that the site was in an isolated location and did not comply with the Council’s policy position on local need, Bell Cornwell argued that the site already had consent to convert an agricultural building to residential under permitted development rights. This remained a legitimate fall-back position and combined with other environmental enhancements the committee agreed that this would be an enhancement when compared with the approved conversion which outweighed officer concerns regarding local need and rural location.