Bid to keep unauthorised car park in Green Belt in Sarratt fails

18th June 2020

Green End Business Centre in Sarratt have lost their bid to keep a car park which was built without planning permission within a green belt field back in 2017. 

Following unsuccessful planning applications, Three Rivers served an enforcement notice against the unauthorised works in September 2018. The car park was built within an open field adjacent to the business centre to support an adjacent business. However, council planning officers had significant concerns regarding the impact on the Green Belt and the fact that parking management across the site could be better managed. 

An enforcement notice is a last resort, as the Council will attempt to work with landowners and businesses to resolve planning issues. However, where negotiation breaks down, the Council must consider the impact and possible harm of the planning breach. In this instance, the breach was considered harmful to the Green Belt and therefore an enforcement notice was issued. The notice was appealed by the business centre and after a long wait, The Planning Inspector has dismissed the appeal and upheld the Council’s enforcement notice. 

Sara Bedford, Leader of the Council, said: “This decision is sadly another prime example where a landowner has attempted to sidestep the planning process without any engagement with the Council’s Planning Department and hoped that they simply got away with it. Three Rivers has a very high success rate when it comes to defending enforcement appeals and this is another case where The Planning Inspector has agreed with the Council. 

“I cannot stress enough the importance of seeking pre-application advice to avoid unnecessary costs in undertaking unauthorised works. Whilst these particular works occurred in 2017 the Council has continued its fight and has had to wait a long time to receive the appeal decision.”