Posted: 7th May 2020 | Back to news feed

At Reeve Brown we are regularly approached by equestrian businesses and private owners who are seeking advice on the prospects of gaining planning permission in rural and previously undeveloped locations for stables, barns and menages. However surprisingly few people appear to be aware that equestrian development such as this also significantly increases their chances of successfully gaining permission for additional residential accommodation. In this article we explore briefly how your horse or business may give you the much needed stepping stone to gaining permission to develop your own bespoke equestrian home where ordinarily such permission would be unattainable.

 The majority of land that would be suitable for an equestrian property is likely to be deemed by planning policy as ‘open countryside’ and located outside of any defined settlement boundaries as designated within the Council’s Local Plan. This means that as far as the starting point for council’s awarding planning permission is concerned, there is no presumption in favour of development. The policy decision is of course logical as it prevents a large number of buildings being established in open country side by developers or those simply wanting to build a home in an unsustainable location.

 However, it is becoming increasingly clear from the various planning consents we have successfully obtained for our clients, that in open countryside areas where ordinarily councils would reject an application for permission to build a residential dwelling on its own, councils are increasingly prepared to allow development of residential dwellings if it can be shown that there is sufficient justification that either:


  1. the dwelling would support an equestrian related business that is currently or will be established on the land; or
  2. that the dwelling would assist in the welfare of privately owned horses that are or will be located on the land.


Whilst the planning application process to achieving the above is by no means straight forward and will most likely require the preparation of business plans and/or welfare evidence from veterinary surgeons, the benefits of achieving planning permission for residential accommodation are both numerous and significant, not least as it allows you to create your own bespoke equestrian property without incurring the uplift that the majority of equestrian properties on the market currently attract.

 At Reeve Brown we have extensive experience in submitting planning applications of this nature and work closely with a number of veterinary surgeons, solicitors, accountants and other experts to produce the necessary evidence to satisfy councils of the need for sustainable development of equestrian homes.

  We understand that for those who do not already own land they want to develop,  you understandably may not want to commit to the purchase of any land until the necessary planning permission has been obtained. At Reeve Brown we are happy to undertake speculative planning application on land not within your ownership and also refer you to approved solicitors to ensure that such land can be purchased at a pre-agreed price should planning be obtained.

 Should you have any queries on matters raised in this article or any other planning related matters please do not hesitate to contact us.

01245 492 589

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