How the Planning Process works for Equestrian Building, Stables, Menages, American Barns & all types of equine outbuildings
Planning Consultants
Equestrian Design are specialists in planning
for new stables, menages, outbuildings &
other equestrian facilities
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How does the planning process work?

Once an application package has been received by your local planning authority, they check it to ensure it has all the necessary information as part of the package. If they feel it isn’t correct for some reason, or they feel that there are errors or omissions, they will not register the application and will contact  you by letter, to request that the missing or incorrect information is provided. Unfortunately if this does happen it can take two or three weeks for the planning authority to notify you of the problem and then you may take another few weeks to gather the missing information, or correct the error. We have spoken to many clients who have attempted to make applications themselves, supported by information from their supplier or manufacturer, only to find that the planning authority will not accept the application because of omissions or errors.

Once the application has been determined by the planning authority as correct, they will formally register it and validate the application and you’ll be formally notified by letter as to when you can expect a decision. It’s perhaps worth noting here that every planning authority is actually measured on how long it takes to determine a planning application and the target is for most applications to take 8 weeks from the date of validation to the decision being made, although some larger proposals are dealt with as major applications which would have a target time of 13 weeks.

Part of the planning procedure involves consulting with your immediate neighbours and other interested parties, in general terms, this means anybody that the planning authority feels is ‘affected’ by your proposal. So as well as your neighbours, this list of consultees may also include the environment agency, your local parish council, your local councillors, the highway department of the local council, conservation officer’s of the local council, your local environmental health department – the number and type of consultees will depend entirely upon what your proposal is for and the planning authority’s view about it’s impact.

Generally speaking private equestrian planning applications are dealt with under delegated powers, where a planning officer will visit the application site and make an appraisal and assessment of the application by comparing it against both the local and national policies they feel are relevant, they will also take any comments form the consultees into consideration as part of this process. It’s quite unusual for a planning officer to visit the site before the consultation period is complete, so it’s quite common that the first time a planning officer see’s the application site, to be in week 5 or 6 of the 8 week application period.

Sometimes a proposal cannot be dealt with under delegated powers and if that is the case, it will be referred to the planning authority’s development control or planning committee, for them to determine. There are a number of reasons why this may happen, the most common ones being that the scale of the proposal is too large to be dealt with under delegated powers, or maybe a large number of complaints have been received, or perhaps one of the local councillors’ feels that it should be dealt with by the committee, rather than the planning officer. If an application is referred to the committee, then a planning officer will still carryout the appraisal and assessment of the application and put a report together for the committee to refer to.

Because most planning decisions are about balancing different, and often conflicting considerations there will inevitably be arguments for and against a proposal. In making the decision, a judgement has to be made as to which argument outweighs the other. If the planning officer feels that changes need to be made to the application to make it more acceptable,  then in theory, they should contact you to discuss what they feel may need changing; in practice, because of the time issues involved (remember the 8 week target date), they don’t often do this, they simply refuse it and give you the reasons why they felt the need to refuse it.

Whilst we are more than happy to make you fully aware of the planning procedures so that you can deal with the planning authority yourself, more often than not, with equestrian planning applications, we would recommend that we act as your agent for the application and deal with the relevant planning officer ourselves. We will try and get his/her view about the application, before we get close to the end of the 8 week application period. That way if they do have an issue with an application, it can be openly discussed and hopefully resolved between all parties, so that a potential refusal is turned into a successful planning approval.

If you do find yourself in the unfortunate position of having your application refused, then you do still have rights of appeal against the decision, through the planning inspectorate. It’s worth noting that only the applicant has any rights of appeal against a planning decision, so if your planning application is successful nobody has the right to appeal against it in a further attempt to get it refused.

Please browse our website, or you are welcome to contact us at any time for advice or more information, or read our FAQ's

Please browse our website, or you are welcome to contact us at any time for advice or more information,
or read our FAQ's | Home | About us | Planning | Building regulations | Our Services | Contact us | Useful links - All Rights Reserved: Equestrian Design, 2010
EQ Design offer specialist advice on the complete planning permission process for any kind of equestrian outbuilding. | Please contact us if you require guidance or advice related to any of these topics.
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