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New stables approved in Stapleford Abbots.

aEQUINE development

"The Old Dairy", Stapleford Abbots, Essex.


Proposed Development: New Field Shelter.

Application Ref: EPF/2043/18

Proposal: New Field Shelter

Location: The Dairy Bournebridge Lane Stapleford Abbotts Essex RM4 1LU

Validated: 06/08/2018

Decided: Under Consideration

EN-PLAN are currently in the process of securing the change of use of agricultural land to equestrian use in the London Green belt in rural Essex.  The field shelter utilise a traditional design and have been sited so as to minimise their visual impact by placing them at the lowest point in the site and adjacent to existing mature hedgerow screening.  We are expecting a positive outcome for this application shortly.

Policy GB2A states that planning permission will not be granted for new building s in the Green Belt unless it is appropriate in that it is for particular specified purposes. One such instance, at (ii), is outdoor sport and recreation or associated essential small-scale buildings. This approach is followed at policy OM 4 C. (ii).
The simple design and the materials, timber boarding and roof sheeting, are considered appropriate to the rural location. In any case the site is well screened from the road by a roadside hedge.

There is a cluster of residential properties to the east. However, an existing agricultural building to the east of the proposed stable building would form a screen and the residential properties are a sufficient distance away, some 40m, such that it is considered that he proposal would have no material adverse impact to the living conditions of neighbours.

The Planning System and Equestrian Development.

Development involving horses (often referred to as ‘horsiculture’) is increasingly popular in the countryside. A growing number of farmers are seeking to diversify their activities, and commercial equestrian uses such as livery or riding schools are common options. Alternatively, farm land and/or buildings may be let to others who wish to establish separate businesses. These uses will almost always require planning permission and together with manèges, events, external lighting and higher levels of traffic, they can have a more intensive impact on the surrounding area than ‘hobby horsiculture’.


With the decline in agricultural jobs, an increasing number of small parcels of land are being sold to people hoping to use them to keep their horses, and they may be unaware that this use is likely to require planning permission. Stables and shelters can be harmful to the appearance of the landscape, as can jumps, horse boxes and other equipment.

Some examples of common developments that would require planning permission

are listed below:

  • Use of land and/or buildings to keep horses for recreational use

  • Use of land and/or buildings to keep horses for commercial purposes

  • The erection of buildings to shelter horses or their provisions/equipmen

  • The erection of buildings in which to exercise horses

  • The creation of a manège or other hard surface for similar purposes

  • The erection of lighting columns to illuminate a manège or other area

  • Stationing a caravan in a field for use in connection with ‘horsiculture’

  • Laying out or surfacing a vehicular access, hardstanding or other surface treatment in connection

        with keeping horses

The grazing of horses on agricultural land does not constitute a material change of use from the former agriculture use. However, if additional food is brought onto the land or if the horses kept on the land are ridden and used for recreation then this is classed as the keeping of horses for equestrian use, and will usually require planning permission for a change of use.

All permanent stables and field shelters will require planning permission and, if the land is not in use for the keeping of horses, an application is unlikely to be acceptable. Mobile field shelters may not need planning permission, depending on their physical attachment to the ground and construction, however, the associated use of the land for the keeping of horses may still require permission for a change of use.

Where the land within the Green Belt already has permission for the keeping of horses then additional stables/shelters may be granted permission on grounds that they are required for outdoor sport and recreation purposes. This is providing that the openness of the Green Belt is preserved and the proposed structures do not conflict with the purposes of including land within the Green Belt.

Should you have any further questions please do not hesitate to CONTACT US.


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En-Plan: Planning & Architetcure Chartered Planning Consutants


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En-Plan: Planning & Architectue Chartered Planning Consultants Chartered Town Planning Consultants





En-Plan: Planning & Architecture, Planning Consultants for Stapleford Abbots
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