How can you tell whether you need planning permission for a stable?
Planning permission is more likely to be needed if horses are kept as part of a profitable business activity, rather than, say, as a hobby, and therefore principally for private leisure activities.
Does this mean that I wont need planning permission for my “pet” horse?
That depends. It is impossible to give a blanket answer to that question.
What if I want to use the old detached garage in my garden which is longer needed for car parking?
If the garage is within the “curtilage” of your property (that is, within the immediate enclosed garden area); and if the scale and character of the horse-keeping activities can be said to be “incidental” to the normal use of your property as a domestic dwelling.
What if I need to build a stable in my garden?
You can check online at the Planning Portal or with local planning authority planning officers whether or not your proposals would be “permitted development”. In order to do so, they must meet the requisite criteria in terms of height, size and position in relation to any other buildings and public highways. Also, use of the new building must be “incidental” to your use of your property as a domestic dwelling.
What if I haven’t got room in my garden, but could I build a stable in my adjoining paddock?
Unfortunately the planning law definition of “curtilage” does not include paddocks which adjoin back gardens, so it would be necessary to submit an planning permission in this case. However, in some circumstances you can use a mobile field shelter as a stable without any planning permission. Please read my separate blog article about it.
Would it be safer to get expert legal advice?
Unless the situation is clear cut, it is advisable to seek expert advice. Firstly, this can minimise disagreements with the local planning authority’s enforcement officers. Secondly, it may be that an expert planning lawyer can advise on whether it may be possible to obtain a certificate of lawfulness based on the existing documentation or use.
If you would like legal advice on this subject, do get in touch with Rachel Rowles Davis using the form on the right.