Equestrian planning can be a bit of a minefield as we have discussed in a recent podcast on all things equestrian planning (to be released next month!).  The fact is that most things relating to equestrian use and facilities (stabling, arenas etc.) do need planning permission but there is one question many horse owners still query – whether or not planning permission is needed for mobile field shelters?

Councils are becoming much more cautious with field shelters but it is possible that in some circumstances moveable shelters would not need full planning permission.  Despite this it is prudent to check any planning history or similar which could control, or limit, such structures without specific consent as well as ensuring your proposal is truly a temporary use of land.

Shelters should satisfy certain requirements but the simplest and often deliberately overlooked requirement is that it should be genuinely able to be moved on a regular basis.  Our advice would be that anything reasonably moveable around fields by a 4 x 4 vehicle (on skids or wheels) is generally acceptable.  The most common issue we see with shelters is that whilst they may be on skids or similar, people have no intention of moving them and indeed they have created and connected infrastructure around them which prevents movement.

Shelters should be moved regularly which means that if you are putting a base down (such as stone or concrete) it is evident to a Council that there is limited scope, or intention, of that shelter being moved.  If this happens the shelter would be deemed as a new building and not a temporary use of land and it would require full planning permission via an application to the Council.

It is key:

  • That there is no ground preparation;
  • There are no connected services;
  • It is not permanently cited;
  • It is designed to be moved.

Based on the above, it should be arguable that the stationing of a field shelter on land will not amount to a new building or operational development as defined in the Town and Country Planning Act.  It should not fall within the scope of planning control subject to consideration of use of the land in question (but that’s for another day).

Each case should be considered on its own merits and facts of the case.  If you are in doubt as to your specific circumstances speak to your local Council or a planning consultant (like us!) – you can book a 15 minutes mini-chat with us to initially discuss your proposals via the contact page!