Horses make up an expanding part of the rural economy but most agricultural landowners are not aware that the distinction between equestrian use of land and agricultural use of land. The definition of agriculture contained within section 336(i) of the 1990 Act which states:

“agriculture” includes horticulture, fruit growing, seed growing, dairy farming, the breeding and keeping of livestock (including any creature kept for the production of food, wool, skins or fur, or for the purpose of its use in the farming of land), the use of land as grazing land, meadow land, osier land, market gardens and nursery grounds, and the use of land for woodlands where that use is ancillary to the farming of land for other agricultural purposes, and “agricultural” shall be construed accordingly.

There are two exceptions when you might not need planning permission, The first is when the land is used for grazing which applies whatever the type of animal. And grazing horses on land is the most common form of agricultral equine use but when more is being done with the horsees than just grazing, e.g. riding, rugging or just additional feeding on the same land it would fall into “equine use” of the land. At this point the landowner should apply to their local planning authority for a change of use of the land from agricultral to equestrian. And the second is when you want to use or build structures within the curtilage of a dwelling house when the structure is an ancillary to the enjoyment of the house.

If you decide to convert, or change the use of any, existing agricultural buildings (eg to stables, tack rooms or arenas) you will need planning consent. Any land owner who is considering setting up, or diversifying thier land into, any form of equstrian use should consider planning issues well in advance. Any equestrian buildings will require planning permission from your local planning authority and it is best to discuss this before making any application to make sure your plans and designs are suitable for your equestrian needs.

We offer a professional approach to every project which includes a fully comprehensive planning and design service. Also we will be on hand from the start to offer advice as to whether or not your project requires planning permission, if it does we will manage your application process from start to finish.

Our equestrian planning and design service includes:

  • Professional advice  to maximise your chances of obtaining planning approval

  • Site visit to access key planning constraints

  • Site specific planning appraisal

  • Preparation of detailed planning application drawings

  • Management of specialist consultants

  • Submission of the planning application and liaison with the planning officer

  • Monitoring of the application through to completion

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