Planning Permission and Horse Stables

Planning Consultant - Chris Scott
Hi, I’m Chris,
I hold an MA in Planning and work as a Planning Consultant

Keeping horses is a very popular hobby for many people. Therefore when it comes to building new stables and shelters for their horses the question is. “Do I need planning permission for horse stables?” As the stables are commonly made from wood, they may be presumed to be a temporary structure. However, the planning laws around temporary structures and what is classed as a temporary structure are not a set of simple rules. I’ll get into temporary structures and planning permission more in later posts. For the moment though and this post on horse stables and shelters its highly unlikely it will be regarded as a temporary structure. Therefore, when it comes to planning permission the criteria that need to be looked at are the location of the stables and the size of the shelter.

Do I need Planning Permission for Stables in My Garden?

So, if you wish to construct the horse stables in your garden there is a possibility that it could come under permitted development rights. This will depend on various factors such as the size of the stables you wish to construct and the location within your domestic curtilage. It will also depend on whether 50% of your domestic curtilage (excluding the original dwelling) is already occupied by structures. Furthermore, previous planning permission for your home could have removed your permitted development rights via a condition of approval.

In summary, there is a possibility that you could construct horse stables in your garden without planning permission. Though it would probably be a good idea to consider submitting a Lawful Development Certificate to check. Something else to note, if you own a field next to your home. If the horses use that land for grazing or as a manege/riding area you may require a change of use from agricultural to leisure use.

Horse Grazing
While you maybe able to construct horse stables within the curtilage of your dwelling you need to consider where the horses will graze.

Planning Permission for Horse Stables on Agricultural Land

This scenario is easier to answer than with regards to approval for stables in your garden. If you own a field and you wish to place stables on that land, you will require planning permission. It’s irrelevant if that field is next to the boundary of your garden.

When it comes to secure planning permission for horse stables on agricultural land, the size, scale and location of the structure and ancillary facilities are important. Generally, small scale stables are expected to be timber with a mono low pitched roof. You will need to make sure the structure does not dominate the landscape and damage the character of the area. You want to make sure the proposals show it will be well screened and inconspicuous. The local authority planning department will also look at potential highway safety issues and over-use and deterioration of bridleways.

Loss of Quality Agricultural Land

Furthermore, you are unlikely to secure approval if the proposals would result in a significant loss of quality agricultural land. Typically that will be a loss of agricultural land graded 1, 2 or 3a, more on agricultural land grading in later posts. You need to consider access and parking as well to secure approval. For instance, suitable areas for loading and unloading horses.

Agricultural Land for Horse Stables
Its harder to secure planning permission for horse stables on high quality agricultural land.

Impact on Nearby Dwellings

The residential and neighbour amenity impacts also need to be considered. This includes noises from the horses and associated activities. So you also need to consider the impacts of lighting. Obviously in the winter months of the year lighting will be required, but how would that lighting impact on nearby dwellings? You also need to think about how the manure will be stored/removed from the site.

Planning Permission for Horse Stables in the Green Belt

Within the Green Belt, the above is still applicable with regards to the location of the stables within a domestic garden curtilage or a field. However, if the proposal is within an agricultural field and the Green Belt, a tougher test needs to be passed. I don’t want to get into precise planning policy ins and outs, that’s not what these posts are for. I want to try and give a concise explanation of the different planning scenarios you need to consider.

What is the Green Belt?
Securing approval for horse stables in the Green Belt is not impossible, but a tougher test will need to be passed.

Within the Green Belt new buildings are inappropriate development. There are exceptions, but various criteria need to be met. Leisure facilities such as horse stables can potentially meet those criteria. However, there should not be a detrimental impact on the openness of the Green Belt with the proposals.

Assistance with Planning Applications for Horse Stables

If you have horses and are looking to build new stables but need help submitting proposals to secure planning permission please get in touch. If you can send me a description of your proposals through the contact form we can discuss how best to proceed 🙂