Everything you need to about securing planning permission for your new stable.

Planning permission is required for any permanent equestrian construction including stables, a permanent field shelter, or an arena, and it may even be required to simply keep horses/ponies in a field. Planning is managed by government and local planning authorities with the primary aim of guiding and managing how towns, cities and the countryside are used and developed. Planning permission covers the use of land and buildings, the design and look of buildings, as well as access to them and the impact on the local environment. In addition, planning legislation exists to ensure any buildings and constructions are safe and comply with all associated regulations.

The specific law that applies to the planning regime in England and Wales is the Town and Country Planning Act 1990. Under the Act planning permission is required for  ‘any development on land’ which includes the ‘carrying out of building, engineering, mining or other operations, in, on, over or under the land or the making of any material change in the use of any buildings or land’. In some circumstances, deemed planning permission is granted under the provisions of the General Permitted Development Order.

Planning laws must therefore be considered by all equestrian land owners whether you are simply keeping horses/ponies in a field or you are looking to develop your equine facilities.

When it comes to your new structure, they question of whether planning permission is required or not can be extremely confusing.  Most people are unsure what their permitted development rights are and what they may or may not need planning for.

Animals can be allowed grazed on agricultural land as long as they are not being supplementary fed, ridden or lunged, if they are then a change of use application has to be submitted; unless the use if for less that 28 days per year.  If horses are being kept as part of a business such as a livery yard or a riding school for example then it is likely that a change of use will be required on the land and any buildings or stables that may be used, even if they have been used for personal equestrian use previously.  A change of use application will then therefore allow the horses to be grazed, rode and fed on that land. Without consent for a change of used you may be open to enforcement action for your local council.

Unlike farms, equestrian facilities do not have any agricultural permitted development rights.  This means that most developments would require planning permission. The reason for this is horses that are maintained for sport and or business are not classed as being kept for agricultural activities.

Should you look to erect stables for “personal enjoyment” beside your home you make have permitted development rights however this would depend on the distance the stables would be from your home, the size of the stable and the number of stables as well as consideration to your actual location.

The planning policy generally will support recreation in the countryside but each site/location may have its own challenges i.e. access and landscape.

The development of new buildings may also generate business rate liability depending on size.

It is possible to erect field shelters without planning permission as long as they qualify as a temporary structure and the land is classified to allow equine use.  In order for the structure to be considered as a temporary build they must:

  • Be standing in a location for less that 28 days
  • Be less than 100m2
  • Not exceed 25% of the land on your site
  • Not be located within 5mtrs of your boundary

This means that any field shelter must be moveable and must be moved every 28 days in order to remain exempt from any planning permission regulations and consent.  It should be noted also, that field shelters for horses for example, should bit be situated ion agricultural land without first seeking a change of use to have equine use in the land.

Full planning permission and consent may be required for any permeant structure including:

  • Horse walkers
  • Stables
  • Arenas
  • Solarium
  • New or widening access onto the highway
  • Concrete yards
  • Gallops

Top tips for securing planning permission

  • Enter into early dialogue with the local planning authority.
  • Remember to plan well in advance. The planning application process may take longer than you think. The statutory deadline for determining an application is 8 weeks (13 weeks for major developments).
  • Speak with any neighbours that may be affected by the proposals. Early engagement may prevent objections and do demonstrate where any concessions have been made to accommodate their concerns in your final application.
  • Be flexible with your design and location. Making amendments to the design or location may be the difference between obtaining consent and having an application refused.
  • Consider using professionals to assist with the application – e.g. experienced architects and planning consultants.
  • Be aware of the costs involved – planning application fees are based on the size of the floorspace of a structure, whether a stable or ménage.
  • Emphasise the benefits of your proposal – such as if the new facility brings job creation for the local community, if and how it is supporting the local economy, is fulfilling a local need, and particularly if the construction itself will use any local businesses when it is being built and also when completed.
  • Remember – if you do build stables or ménages there’s a chance you will be liable for non-domestic rates, so it is advisable to check with your local authority or seek advice.

What Our Club Members Say

Belinda Dixon

Absolutely first class service from start to finish. Jade responded really quickly to emails and super, fast workmanship from Robert and his gang. Field shelter was cracking quality and I would highly recommend them to everyone. Many thanks

Richard Hobson

Unbelievable service and professionalism from Robert and his team. Installed to the highest of standards looks absolutely fab. These horses will be glad to get out of the drenched fields now.

Wendy Rennie

Very easy company to deal with. Best value by far. Was wary as they were not local to us but prestige provided us with good service and lovely new stables, delivery to Scotland was reasonable and the boys erected our new stables super quick. Would recommend and use again

Sara Ashley

Fantastic to deal with from start to finish. Very professional and reliable company. Great customer service and very quick delivery and installation within just a few weeks from order. Would definitely recommend this company and use them again:)

Helen Reynolds

I have bought several times from Robert. Whether it be field shelters of stable blocks and I have never been disappointed with the service from point of order to install Totally professional and top quality

Ian Hamilton Birch

This company have just supplied me with 2 blocks of 24 x 12 stables specially adapted for my shetlands. From initial quotation stage to final fitting they were a very professional company. Unlike some companies that I initially approached the quotation they gave me included everything enabling me to budget accurately. The stables and fittings are of the highest quality and well constructed. Everyone I dealt with very knowledgeable, polite and friendly. I would highly recommend and will use them again when I need further buildings