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This guide is intended to provide some basic advice about the planning position in relation to the use of land or buildings for equine purposes in the Borough of Charnwood.
Development involving horses (often referred to as ‘horsiculture’) is increasingly popular in the countryside. A growing number of farmers are seeking to diversify their activities, and commercial equestrian uses such as livery or riding schools are common options. Alternatively, farm land and/or buildings may be let to others who wish to establish separate businesses. These uses will almost always require planning permission and together with manèges, events, external lighting and higher levels of traffic, they can have a more intensive impact on the surrounding area than ‘hobby horsiculture’. With the decline in agricultural jobs, an increasing number of small parcels of land are being sold to people hoping to use them to keep their horses, and they may be unaware that this use is likely to require planning permission. Stables and shelters can be harmful to the appearance of the landscape, as can jumps, horse boxes and other equipment.
Planning permission Some examples of common developments that would require planning permission are listed below: ·
Use of land and/or buildings to keep horses for recreational use ·
Use of land and/or buildings to keep horses for commercial purposes ·
The erection of buildings to shelter horses or their provisions/equipment ·
The erection of buildings in which to exercise horses ·
The creation of a manège or other hard surface for similar purposes ·
The erection of lighting columns to illuminate a manège or other area ·
Stationing a caravan in a field for use in connection with ‘horsiculture’ ·
Laying out or surfacing a vehicular access, hardstanding or other surface treatment in connection with keeping horses
If the main purpose of the use of the land is for the grazing of horses (i.e. they are being fed off the land rather than with imported food, and the land is not being used as a recreational/exercise area) then planning permission may not be required, as this could be considered an agricultural use. However, any buildings or other structures may still need permission.
Mobile field shelters may also not need planning permission depending on their size, construction, physical attachment to the ground and degree of permanence.
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