En-Plan have extensive experience in achieving planning apporval for equestrian development both for personnel use or private equestrian businesses. We have a full understanding of the ideal stabling conditions for horses promote their health, safety, and well-being. Here are some factors to consider:
Size and Layout: The stable should provide enough space for the horse to move comfortably. A typical box stall for an average-sized horse is around 12 feet by 12 feet. The layout should allow for ease of movement and include separate areas for feeding, resting, and eliminating waste.
Ventilation: Good airflow is crucial to maintain air quality and prevent respiratory issues. Adequate ventilation can be achieved through windows, vents, or an open design that allows fresh air to circulate.
Lighting: Natural light is preferable whenever possible. Additionally, well-placed artificial lighting can help ensure the horse's safety and allow for proper care and observation.
Flooring: The flooring should provide good traction to prevent slipping and should be comfortable for the horse to stand and lie down on. Options include rubber mats, packed dirt with appropriate bedding, or specialized flooring designed for equine use.
Bedding: Appropriate bedding helps absorb moisture, provides cushioning, and promotes hygiene. Common bedding materials include straw, wood shavings, sawdust, or specialized equine bedding products.
Temperature Control: The stable should maintain a comfortable temperature range for the horse, avoiding extremes of heat or cold. Adequate insulation and ventilation contribute to temperature control.
Security: The stable should be secure, protecting horses from potential hazards, such as loose wires, sharp edges, or protruding objects. Proper fencing and gating help ensure the horse's safety and prevent escapes.
Social Interaction: Horses are social animals and benefit from interaction with other horses. Whenever possible, stabling arrangements should allow visual and physical contact with neighboring horses.
Hygiene and Maintenance: Regular cleaning and maintenance are essential to provide a clean and healthy environment for the horse. This includes removing manure and urine-soaked bedding, as well as regularly disinfecting water buckets and feeders.
Access to Water and Feed: Horses should have constant access to clean, fresh water and appropriate feed. Automatic or frequent manual watering systems, along with regular feeding schedules, contribute to the horse's well-being.
It's important to note that individual horse preferences and needs may vary, and some horses may have specific requirements or health considerations that should be taken into account when creating their stabling conditions. Consulting with an equine veterinarian or an experienced equine professional can provide additional guidance based on the specific needs of your horse.
If you are seeking planning permission for equestrian use there are some important aspects to consider to help ensure this is easily achieved with a full planning application.
1. Private or business?
The first question to ask yourself is whether you are looking to provide facilities for private use or hoping to run a business from the property. Planning permission for business facilities is likely to involve a great level of scrutiny, and due to the increased vehicular traffic. We can asisst in this respect as we have a full working knowledge of entrance requirement s and the visibility spalys required in order to create safe access and egress.
It is also important to consider whether the property is in a sensitive area such as an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty or National Park. Different planning requirements can apply to these and any development that impacts on the landscape in these locations would not be permitted. Even outside of these areas, a very exposed site will pose a challenge and such considerations are especially relevant if you are proposing a floodlit outdoor riding school. We can advise you on how to utilise the topography and landsccape features of the site to your best advantage in order to minimise the impact of the proposal, and therefore receive planning approval.
3. A home for wildlife?
While in most cases improved grassland has little ecological value, if the site you are considering has unmanaged grass, trees or scrub it may have higher ecological potential. Areas of woodland or even large trees can also provide habitat for wildlife and in particular bats, so clearance is not always achievable as bats are sensitive to lighting. You will need to emply an Ecologist who will need a bat licence in order to tremove any bats present. We work in conjunction with Greescape Ecologists who can handle this matyter for you should it arise as part of the planning process.
While most relevant to business-related developments, highways stipulations are important in every case. If you are proposing a business-related use then traffic generation will be a very important consideration and careful thought should be given to whether access provisions are adequate or improvable. We can provide all neccessary highway details inlcding visibility plans and upgrade plans to ensure your proposal receives approval. Please refer to our dedicated Highways Page for further details.
5. Agricultural to equestrian?
Finally, it should be remembered that while an equine use is similar to an agricultural one in planning terms, it is essentially a different use and a change of use for the land itself might also be required.
The only equestrian use that falls within the agricultural definition is producing horses for slaughter, working horses on the land or turning horses out for grazing only. As soon as more is being done to the horses than merely grazing, planning permission will be required.
If you wish to use any existing agricultural buildings for stabling then a change of use will also be necessary. If the stables are for commercial purposes, business rates will also need to be paid.
Every property is different and it can pay dividends to seek professional advice early on. Stags is able to advise on all equestrian planning matters including new dwellings to support equine buisness.
Case Study: Jayroc Stables, Shropshire.
1.1. En-Plan: Planning & Architecture have been instructed by Mr. Russel Hand, to submit an application for a Application for the Erection of horse walker (15m diameter), isolation unit and extension to existing agricultural building
1.2. This Supporting Statement has therefore been produced to accompany the application to explain the current situation and outline the relevant planning history. The Planning statement submitted with the original application contains a detailed description of the development and a breakdown of the relevant planning policy.
1.3. The proposed site location plan and existing plans and elevations have been submitted alongside this statement.
Relevant Planning History
2.1 The 17/00418/FUL Erection of horse walker (15m diameter), isolation unit and extension to existing agricultural building. An appeal was submitted against non determination of the application.
2.2 Appeal Ref: APP/L3245/W/18/3200964
Jayroc Stables, Shawbury Heath, Shawbury SY4 4EA
2.3 In the appeal decision the Inspector found the principle of development acceptable as the following extract from the Appeal Decision shows, although ultimately the appeal was dismissed due to drainage issues:
“The development is acceptable having regard to the sites countryside location. However whilst I consider that suitable drainage for the development could be provided, I do not consider that this could be achieved without the imposition of a pre-commencement condition. The appellants are unwilling to agree to the imposition of such a condition.”
The development is acceptable having regard to the sites countryside location. However whilst I consider that suitable drainage for the development could be provided, I do not consider that this could be achieved without the imposition of a pre-commencement condition. The appellants are unwilling to agree to the imposition of such a condition.
For the above reasons and having regard to all matters raised, I conclude that the appeal should be dismissed.”
2.4 The applicant will be submitting a drainage plan alongside the application and is willing to accept a pre-commencement condition with regard to drainage as the LPA see fit.
3.1. In conclusion, the principle of the development has been found to be acceptable at Appeal and the applicant will now submit a drainage plan and work with the LPA to ensure this matter is adequately addressed.
Case Study: Construction of new Stables and Agricultural storage building. Henffordd Farm, Old Hope Road, Penymynydd, Chester, CH4 0ES. Application Reference: FUL/000613/23.
The application site is outside the recognised settlement boundary of Penyffordd/Penymynydd in open countryside on a site that benefits from change of use of former agricultural buildings to commercial use for manufacture of and sale of garden studio /sheds. There are a number of existing buildings on the site and the proposed location of the stable block and agricultural shed are in close proximity to these and will not lead to sporadic development in the open countryside.
The guidance offered in Planning Policy Wales Ed 11 and Future Wales The National Development Plan 2040, is permissive of development which is appropriate in scale and type and this is reiterated in the relevant policies of the Flintshire Local Development Plan.
The main issues in the consideration of this application are:
• Policy Context
• Impact upon Character and Appearance
• Access and Parking
The use of the budlings has been confirmed to be for personal use and in connection with Henforddd Farm as such it is considered that there is a genuine need for the facilities, they are of appropriate size and design to reflect the rural setting.
The location of the stable block and associated tack, feed store and agricultural storage shed for storage of implements in connection with Henffordd Farm, is in close proximity to two existing buildings within the complex of commercial units and will not lead to sporadic development in the open countryside. The scale, design and materials proposed for the stables and agricultural store buildings are appropriate to the rural setting and are sited so as to not adversely impact upon the character and appearance of the site and or wider area.
The access and parking provision for the proposals have been assessed the Highways officer and they have confirmed that they raise no objection to the proposal and do not intend to make a recommendation on highway grounds recommends condition with regard to parking / turning.
Concern has been raised with regards to the location, scale and size of the developments in this rural location, whilst this is acknowledged it is considered that the location, scale and size is appropriate to the site and the wider surroundings.
The application has been assessed and considered by environmental health and highways, whilst concerns have been raised on amenity, pollution and highway issues these officer’s have raised no objection to proposal and as such the proposal is considered appropriate and compliant with the relevant policies of the Flintshire Local Development Plan.
The proposed private stable block and agricultural storage building to be used in connection with existing farming activity at Henfordd Farm for storage of agricultural machinery and feed is considered appropriate justified and appropriate development in the open country side, is of a scale, design and materials appropriate and compliant with the above policies of the Flintshire Local Development Plan, a recommendation of conditional approval is made.
Case Study: Planning Application for a New Shepherds hut to enable equestrian based holidays at East Hall Farm, Mundford.
This application seeks permission for the erection of a shepherds hut to enable equestrian based holidays. East Hall Farm is situated of West Tofts Road and is located approximately 260m west outside the defined settlement boundary of Mundford. The site is surrounded by open countryside to the west and north with woodland to the east and south, across from the highway.
This application is specifically for the creation of tourist accommodation, and the principle is therefore
assessed against Policy EC 07 of the Breckland Local Plan (Adopted November 2019). The site is not brownfield land and although it may bring regeneration benefits these are likely to be modest,
particularly given the scale of the proposals. The applicant has stated the proposal will be for equestrian
based 'horsey holidays' for two people at any one time to bring their horses to ride in the forest and stay in
the shepherds hut. Customers of the hut will be arriving with their own vehicle so no public transport will be
required. Furthermore, the applicant has set out that "I have owned horses all of my life and there is much
demand for horsey holidays in this immediate area. With Little Lodge Farm at Santon Downham and Forest
Edge at Swaffham nearby proving very popular. We are offering a fully fenced, secure paddock within
beautiful surroundings. The hut will not be overlooked by any houses/neighbours. We feel that more people
will holiday in the UK as opposed to holidaying abroad as the cost of living increases and this will encourage
more tourism to Breckland as it has many desirable attractions."
It is acknowledged the development relies on the presence of it's setting with the subject land already in
equestrian usage and the proposal will relate to this, therefore providing a specific geographical resources
which enhance the properties holiday use viability. The application site lies in walking or cycling distance to
Mundford approximately 260m, a Village with Boundary under the Breckland Local Plan (adopted 2019).
On the basis of the justification and need for the development provided by the applicant, it is considered that
the rural location of the development is required and therefore is considered to be acceptable in principle
having regard to Policy EC07 of the Breckland Local Plan (Adopted 2019). The shepherds hut is to be located on one of the paddocks south of East Hall Farm set on a spacious plot. The proposed shepherds hut will be timber clad and it is considered the hut will integrate to a high degree of compatibility with the immediate and wider surrounding area and would repsect intrinsic character and beauty of the countryside.
Policy COM 03 of the Breckland Local Plan (adopted 2019) seeks to protect residential amenity and that all
new development must have regard to amenity considerations and states that development will not be
permitted where there are unacceptable effects on the amenity of neighbouring residents and future
occupants. The shepherds hut is positioned a significant distance from the highway and benefits from good separation to the host dwelling of East Hall Farm and is well-positioned on a spacious plot. The site contains good natural screening through provision of woodland and planted boundary treatment. The plot is separated from neighbouring dwellings and there is unlikely to be significant amenity impacts, taking this into consideration the small scale nature of the proposals.
As part of the application process, the Councils Environmental Health Team were consulted and raised no
objection to the proposal. No letters of objection were received from members of the public.
On the basis of the above it is considered the proposal complies with Policy COM 03 of the Breckland Local
Plan (adopted 2019).
Policies COM 01 and TR 02 of the Breckland Local Plan (adopted 2019) seeks to ensure that all access and
safety concerns are resolved in new developments. Policy HOU06 requires sufficient parking for all new
development. Paragraphs 110 and 111 of the NPPF (2021) are also relevant.Norfolk County Council Highways raised no objections to the proposals, subject to conditions. On this basis the proposal is considered to accord with Policies TR01 and TR02 of the Breckland Local Plan (adopted 2019).
Section 15 of the NPPF (2021) and Policy ENV 02 of the Breckland Local Plan (adopted 2019) require the
protection and enhancement of biodiversity. A Shadow Habitats Assessment was submitted in support of the application. As part of the application process, both Ecology and Natural England were consulted and raised no objection to the proposal, subject to the inclusion of appropriately worded conditions.
It is therefore considered the proposal has due regard to Policy ENV 02 of the Breckland Local Plan (adopted
2019) and Section 15 of the NPPF (2021).
Breckland, and all Norfolk Authorities, have signed up to the Norfolk Green Infrastructure and Recreational
impact Avoidance and Mitigation Strategy (GIRAMS). This strategy has looked at the in combination increase
in recreational pressures on Habitat Sites, the impact has been evidenced by GIRAMS which shows that
schemes which create additional recreational impact (in combination with other development), in the zone of
influence of European Protected wildlife site, will likely have a significant effect through recreation impact i.e.
visiting sites for recreational purposes. Breckland District Council, along with all other Norfolk Authorities,
require a one-off tariff of £185.93 per unit to go towards the Norfolk Recreation Impact Avoidance Mitigation
Strategy to be secured through a Unilateral Undertaking. A draft Unilateral Undertaking and £75
administration fee have been provided and suitably address this matter.
This application has been assessed against the conservation objectives for the protected habitats of the
River Wensum Special Area of Conservation and the Broads Special Area of Conservation and Ramsar site
concerning nutrient pollution in accordance with the Conservation of Species and Habitats Regulations 2017
(as amended) ("the Habitats Regulations"). The Habitats Regulations require Local Planning Authorities to
ensure that new development does not cause adverse impacts to the integrity of protected habitats such as
the River Wensum or the Broads prior to granting planning permission. This site is located outside of the
catchment area of the sites, as identified by Natural England.
It is acknowledged that the proposal does create overnight stays however the site lies outside of the
catchment area. The agent has confirmed foul water is processed via a septic tank. Given the above, this application has been screened, using a precautionary approach, as unlikely to have a significant effect on the conservation objectives, and there is no requirement for additional information to be submitted to further assess the effects. Therefore, the application can, with regards nutrient neutrality, be safely determined as with regards the Conservation of Species Habitats Regulations.
In light of the above, the proposal was considered to have due regard to all relevant policies of the Breckland
Local Plan (adopted 2019) and was accordingly recommended for approval.