Appeal Decision APP/N5090/A/10/21228503 of 17
its effect on the character and appearance of the area and the visualamenities of the Green Belt;
its effect on the ecology of the area; and,
if the development is inappropriate, whether any harm by reason of inappropriateness, and any other harm, is clearly outweighed by otherconsiderations, so as to amount to the very special circumstances necessaryto justify the development.
Reasons for the Decision
Edgwarebury Cemetery, which was established in the late 1960s, lies to thenorth of Barnet, on the eastern side of Edgwarebury Lane. The Trustees of Belsize Square Synagogue (the appellant) are one of four Jewish communities
that bury their dead in distinct areas there. It is accessed directly fromEdgwarebury Lane and incorporates three buildings which provide facilities foradministration and preparing and conducting burials, a prayer room and toilets.The buildings, together with parking for some 56 vehicles, are located in thesouthern corner of the site, close to the road. Burial and remembrance areasare located throughout the rest of the site, with burial plots spreading out in anorth-easterly direction. The cemetery is bounded by Clay Lane to the northand east, with Broadfields Junior School directly to the south. The appeal site,which comprises two fields extending to almost 3 hectares of agricultural land,lies immediately to the north-east of the existing facility, separated from it byClay Lane. Land beyond Clay Lane, including the appeal site, comprises openfarmland that falls away from the Lane which is, in turn, bounded by the M1motorway and the Thameslink railway line to the north and east.11.
The land comprising the appeal site has, for the last few years, been subject toa regime of ‘set-aside’, with the consequence that, at the time of the Inquiry, ithad the appearance of rough grassland. It is proposed to change the use of the land to create an extension to the existing cemetery. The appeal sitewould be linked to the existing burial ground via a single access point. Theaccess would, of necessity, cross Clay Lane. It is also proposed to reconfigurethe existing parking area to increase the amount of parking available on thesite, and to create a small additional area for staff parking immediately to thenorth of the existing buildings.12.
The appeal site, the existing cemetery, and the surrounding land, lie within theMetropolitan Green Belt. The land also lies within an Area of SpecialArchaeological Significance, an Area of Special Character, and Watling ChaseCommunity Forest, all as defined in the Barnet Unitary Development Plan. ClayLane is designated as a Site of Local Importance for Nature Conservation and isincluded as an area (A6) within a larger Tree Preservation Order (TPO)
. TheTPO also includes groups of trees around the perimeter of, and within, theappeal site (G35, G40, G41 and G93).
Green Belt/Inappropriate Development
Planning Policy Guidance 2 ‘Green Belts’ (PPG2) makes it clear that the generalpolicies controlling development in the countryside apply with equal force in
Belsize Square Synagogue, Liberal Judaism, the Spanish & Portuguese (Sephardi) and West London Synagogue
The London Borough of Barnet (Bury Farm, Edgwarebury Lane, Edgware) Tree Preservation Order 1978