There are over 375,000 horse owning households in Britain and riding has always been a popular pass time in rural areas. If you are one of those horse owners, this passion for horses often leads to a desire to set up your own equestrian facilities. Whilst this can often seem daunting and costly, Councils are generally supportive of robust planning proposals. There are many different options to consider:

  • Stable block
  • American style barn with internal stables
  • Re-use of underutilised traditional barns
  • Field Shelters
  • Equestrian surfaces
  • Horse walkers

Whether you are utilising existing buildings or land or buying a new property and starting from scratch, it is essential to plan from the outset. Consider your requirements, what you have to work with and the design and timescales. 

Is planning permission required?

Most equestrian development will require planning consent from the local planning authority because equestrian uses do not benefit from permitted development. Shelters which are situated in paddocks usually require planning consent unless they are stationed there temporarily.

Depending on the existing buildings which are available to you, there may be an opportunity to consider re-using buildings for stabling or shelters and other facilities under a change of use planning application.

For more information watch our videos here:

Good equestrian planning - August 2023

Do I need planning permission for horse stables?

What are the main factors to consider?

  • Likelihood of flooding
  • Highways safety and impact
  • Landscape and visual impact
  • Impact on public rights of way
  • Impact on designations such as Green Belt or AONBs
  • Noise impact
  • Neighbour amenity
  • Ecology

Other factors to consider include Design, Materials, Scale, Use, Siting and Drainage.

Budget: The range can differ depending on complexity, design requirement and size etc. It will be lower for a stable or small surface for personal use only. As a ballpark, you should be budgeting £1200 to £2500 and £450 for drawings

Timescale: For a permitted development you should estimate 8 to 12 weeks, full planning application approx 20 weeks.

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