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The Garden House, Hampstead Heath, LB Camden

DATE: 24 Sep 2013

This was a two day inquiry into an appeal against the decision of Camden LBC’s Planning Committee, against officer advice, to refuse planning permission for alterations and extensions to the well-known Garden House building in the Vale of Health. The appeal scheme is designed by the award winning architect James Gorst and, in conjunction with two certificates of lawfulness for permitted development under Part 1 of Schedule 2 to the General Permitted Development Order, would result in the creation of dormer and basement extensions along with the cladding of the entire building in slate. The site is in Metropolitan Open Land, which attracts the same protection as Green Belt, and the issues at the inquiry include the proper interpretation of the exemptions to inappropriate development in the Green Belt under paragraph 89 of the NPPF, including the new sixth bullet relating to “the partial or complete redevelopment of previously developed sites (brownfield land), whether redundant or in continuing use… which would not have a greater impact on the openness of the Green Belt and the purpose of including land within it than the existing development”.

The application and appeal attracted considerable local attention, following litigation of a previous planning permission for redevelopment of the Garden House which had been the subject of litigation which reached the Court of Appeal in R (Heath & Hampstead Society) v. Camden LBC [2008] 3 All E.R. 80.

On 30 October 2013 the Inspector published his decision letter accepting the entirety of the Appellant's arguments and allowing the appeal.

Charles Banner appeared for the appellant, Mr Alex Vlachos, instructed by Lee Bolton Monier Williams LLP.