‘A Practical Guide to Very Special Circumstances in Green Belt Planning’ by James Corbet Burcher

Paperback: 978-1-914608-84-1
Publication due: March 2024


What constitutes “very special circumstances” to justify development within the Green Belt?

This book explores systematically how Councils, Inspectors, Secretaries of State and the Courts have approached this question in the NPPF era.

Part I provides an analysis of decisions and judgments from the NPPF era (2012-2022), looking especially at s78 appeal statistics and success rates.

Part II examines the core themes for specific types of development, including residential, commercial, education, minerals and energy projects.

Part III builds on the above, to provide practical advice on how to build (or determine) a case all the way from pre-application through to decision/appeal.

It explores the importance of structured argument, a rigorous approach to evidence and a careful understanding of the political context.

The book will be of use to all those promoting development in the Green Belt and those making decisions upon it.”


James Corbet Burcher is a specialist planning and environmental law barrister at No5 Chambers.

He has represented Appellants at a number of successful Green Belt appeals/call-in inquiries throughout the past decade.

He has an extensive advocacy and advisory practice, for developers, local authorities and the range of participants in the planning process.