Leisure and sport


Leisure and sport in the countryside has always been popular with traditional pastimes such as gold, walking, cycling, fishing, shooting and so on. The industry has revolutionised over the last few years with a whole new breed of activities that the rural economy has capitalised on, fitness boot camps, wolf and mud runs, pilates studios and so on. Consumers are increasingly wanting to spend their leisure and fitness time in the fresh air and in beautiful countryside surroundings.

If you do require planning permission, most local authorities support such ventures in principle, they bring about economic and social benefits but again does come down to the detail and the effects the proposal will have.

Whilst most local authorities are in principle supportive of such businesses, existing and start up, they can create some planning issues, such as car parking, vehicular movements, noise to local area and so on. These impacts must be carefully balanced against the positives and presented in a ‘net gain’ way. Getting technical support for things like highways, noise and so on will be crucial so get your strategy aligned early on in the process.

Is planning permission required?

Infrequent events may not require planning consent, if the change of use is for less than 28 days per year, or if the use if clearly ancillary to the principle lawful use (there are some exemptions to the 28 day rule, see here). If you need to put up buildings or facilities such as a permanent toilet block, or change the use of buildings this will require planning.

View further information resources here

What is the process for this type of application?

Read about the planning process here

What are the main issues that need to be overcome?

Principle of the proposal – leisure and sport

We have to firstly make sure the Local Planning Authority are happy with the proposal in principle, asking the question - does the development meet local and national planning policy? As well as the principle, there are lots of other factors that come into planning for premises for manufacturing, or retail or service businesses.

  • Highways safety and impact
  • Impact on designations such as Green Belt AONBs
  • Ecology impact
  • Noise
  • Neighbour amenity

How The Rural Planning Co can help

We LOVE getting involved with exciting new equestrian projects like this, and helping you along the journey to bringing your personal aspirations or business plans and dreams to fruition. With many years specialising in this sector, we believe that engaging an experienced and proactive consultant can reduce the stress, time and cost of the process and above all gives you the best chance of success.

Read our pricing here

Read about the planning process here

Read ‘how we work’ here

Read about us here

Find case studies here

Here are some links to more business help on The Business Barn website.

Our other business Moule & Co specialises in rural professional consultancy and can help with grants and business plans.