Planning Policy Guide

Last Updated :
  Thursday, 06-Mar-2008

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  HCI Data Ltd.

Planning Policy Guide


Horse Stables in the Countryside

Prior to Planning Policy Statement 7 (Sustainable Development in Rural Areas) guidence was given in PPG7 (Planning Policy Guidance 7: Countryside).

PPS7 (published in 2004) replaces Planning Policy Guidance (PPG)Note 7,The Countryside – Environmental Quality and Economic and Social Development ,published in February 1997.1

Regarding comercial stables, PPS7 states
Equine-related activities
32.Horse riding and other equestrian activities are popular forms of recreation in the countryside that can fit in well with farming activities and help to diversify rural economies. In some parts of the country,horse training and breeding businesses play an important economic role. Local planning authorities should set out in LDDs their policies
for supporting equine enterprises that maintain environmental quality and countryside character. These policies should provide for a range of suitably located recreational and leisure facilities and, where appropriate,for the needs of training and breeding businesses. They should also facilitate the re-use of farm buildings for small-scale horse enterprises (That is, enterprises involving up to ten horses.) that provide a useful form of farm diversification.


For Domestic Stables, Sevenoaks Planning Polices state:

"Proposals for stables related to the grazing of horses for domestic purposes which require planning permission may be appropriate development within the Green Belt, particularly if the stable can be regarded as a limited extension to an existing dwelling. Otherwise they would need to be able to be considered as ‘essential facilities for outdoor sport and recreation ’, be ‘small stables for outdoor sport and outdoor recreation ’."

Appendix 3 (iii) requires a minimum of one acre per horse separate from an exercise area.

So reasons that could be used to prevent stables being errected in the Green Belt or Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB) are:
- There is insufficient space for an exercise, separate from a minimum of 1 acres for grazing for each horse and thus is contrary of A3.1(iii)
- There are no management proposals to demonstrate measures to prevent the possible erosion and decline of good vegetation on the land and thus is contrary to A3.1(iii)
- There is not sufficient land available for exercise and thus it is contrary to A3.1(iv)
- The stables will not be satisfactorily screened and this are contrary to A3.1(viii)
- The stables, being new development, would be detrimental to the visual amenity of the Green Belt and would, therefore, be contrary to GB4
- This site is clearly visible from a road or PROW and the likely visual damage to the land by the horses would detract from the landscape character of the AONB and SLA and is thus contrary to EN6 and EN7
- the lack of screening of the stables is contrary to PPG7 as particular care to minimise the effect these proposals will have on the appearance of the countryside has not been accomplished.

If this application is granted, it would set a precedent in the area for unscreened stables. This could lead to stables every few hundred metres. This would result in cutter that the LPA is trying to avoid as per A3.4(i) The Authority will be particularly concerned to avoid development which will cause clutter in the countryside or landscape, or over-intensive use which may erode the local character.

See also Planning Policy Statement 7: Sustainable Development in Rural Areas (PDF 283 Kb)

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