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GB2  Guidelines for Development in the Green Belt  Policy

Within the Green Belt there is a general presumption against inappropriate development and such development will not be approved except in very special circumstances. Planning permission will not be granted for development in the Green Belt unless it is for the purposes of:

(i) agriculture and forestry;

(ii) essential facilities for outdoor sport and outdoor recreation, for cemeteries, and for other uses of land which preserve the openness of the Green Belt and do not conflict with the purposes of including land within it;

(iii) the limited extension, alteration or replacement of existing dwellings, subject to Policy GB4 and Policy GB5;

(iv) the limited infilling in existing villages, subject to Policy GB6, including limited affordable housing subject to local community needs;

(v) the limited infilling or redevelopment of major existing developed sites identified under Proposal GB9;

Such appropriate development shall not damage the visual amenities of the Green Belt by virtue of its siting, materials or design.

Reasoned justification :

7.12. Development acceptable within the Green Belt has long been restricted to that appropriate to a rural as opposed to an urban area. Furthermore, there is a general presumption against inappropriate development within the Green Belt. This view was introduced in 1955, and has remained through the latest Government guidance, and in Strategic Guidance for Merseyside.

7.13 Whilst the range of development is often restrictive, to prevent unnecessary and intrusive development, the latest advice from Government allows for a positive role in providing access to open countryside for the urban population.

7.14 With diversification of the rural economy, as agricultural support policies change, more land in Wirral may become available for non-agricultural uses, such as sport or recreation. Such uses should be appropriate in the Green Belt, preserve its openness and not conflict with the purposes of including land within it.

7.15 Many statutory undertakers' installations are long established in the Green Belt and operational restraints may require that development has to occur on or around their existing sites. If development by statutory undertakers is proposed, it will be necessary for them to prove that the proposal cannot be accommodated outside the Green Belt.