A COUPLE have lost their battle to widen their garage by 10ft - because it is in a green belt.

David Wooley and his wife took their campaign to a planning appeal for an independent Government inspector to give his verdict after Harrogate Borough Council refused approval of the extension at Willow Croft, Swindon Bank.

They told the inspector, David Kaiserman, that they needed the extra space to house three cars, plus fuel and garden equipment.

Refusing their appeal, the inspector said: "While I can understand their wishes in this respect, they do not amount to the kind of very special circumstances which could provide the basis for an exception to what is a clear national and local planning policy."

The inspector said that if he allowed the appeal it would become increasingly difficult for the council to resist similar applications across the borough. This would lead to progressively greater harm to the openness of the green belt.

He added that the site, off the A61 approach to Harrogate from Harewood, between Buttersyke Bar and North Rigton Lane End - was well-screened from the A61.

But he said that this was not a sufficient reason for overriding wider policy arguments.