It is natural to want the most extravagant, all the bells and whistles, stable block possible given that we all hold our horses and ponies in such high regard. However, we always do our best to ensure that your proposal is policy compliant and realistic, if we are assisting you with a planning application. What is possible in terms of stable design and construction is something to be reviewed on a site-by-site basis. We often undertake a development appraisal prior to any applications to establish what the Local Planning Authority deems as appropriate in terms of stable size, design and location. Within an appraisal, we will consider whether a proposal for stables is reasonable within the constraints of your site.
There are often a number of constraints upon a piece of land, particularly that within the open countryside, depending on where you are in the country. These can range from access and land requirements to flooding and ecology. However, the biggest restriction that we come across on a number of sites is Green Belt. The Green Belt, in very simple terms, is a spatial planning tool that restricts development within designated areas to ensure that the areas remain open and free of development. However, not all is lost as there are some defined exceptions in which proposals are allowed and considered not inappropriate (subject to a couple of other considerations). The main exception that is often applicable to stable blocks is one which allows proposals for outdoor sport and outdoor recreation. By nature, horses and equestrian activities are justifiably considered as outdoor sports or recreation.
Despite being considered as outdoor sport and recreation, you also then have to consider whether there is an impact upon the openness of the Green Belt, which is an essential characteristic of the Green Belt. Whether the proposed changes would cause harm to the openness can depend on a number of factors such as the location within your land, its spatial or visual implication as well as the scale in the context of the site. This is where we are able to assist in providing justification against the openness requirement.
Green Belt aside, it is reasonable to propose the number of stables boxes required relevant to the size of parcel of land that you have. For example, if you have a 6 acre parcel of land, it would be appropriate to propose up to 6 stable boxes. This is due to Council’s often requiring at least one acre of land per horse in line with British Horse Society standards. So, subject to having sufficient land in line with the number of stables that you want, the design is then, somewhat, down to you as the applicant. We tend to find that Councils are most receptive to applications that propose a simple, timber framed stable block on one row of brick plinths and a concrete base. This is also often with a roof covering such as metal sheeting or Onduline. The shape of your stable block is also something to consider. Whether you want a single row, an L shape, a U shape or a fully enclosed square of stables, but again this will be dependant on your site, the aspect among other things.
We are aware, that often as applicants, you do like to have something slightly more substantial i.e. a structure that is brick built with a tiled roof or similar. It is important, at this point, to check the Local Planning Policy to see whether they have any specific design guidance relating to stables or equestrian developments. This is something we can check on your behalf as part of a development appraisal.
We also work with a number of architects, plan drawers or stable manufacturers who will assist in designing stables or stable blocks for you at the point at which you look to submit an application. It is worth bearing in mind, what you actually wish to achieve versus what is going to give you the best situation for your land and requirements. This may sometimes differ, but we will do our best to ensure you are happy with the outcome.
If you have any queries on how we can assist you with creating the best set-up for your site in line with any planning policy or constraints, please do get in contact with us, you can get in touch either via email or by booking a 15 minute mini-chat through the ‘contact us’ page of the website.