Draft Core Strategy (incorporating Preferred Options) October 2010

Draft Core Strategy (incorporating Preferred Options)

Equine Development

12.50 Planning Policy Statement 4, Planning for Sustainable Economic Growth, recognises that where appropriate, equestrian enterprises should be supported. Within South Somerset, horse related rural activities have become increasingly popular over recent years and PPS 4 advises that Local Planning Authorities should set out their policies in Local Development Documents for supporting equine enterprises that maintain environmental quality and countryside character.

12.51 Planning Policies should provide a positive framework for facilitating sustainable development that supports traditional land-based activities and makes the most of new leisure and recreational opportunities that require a countryside location. Planning authorities should ensure that any policies, which support equine enterprises, also maintain environmental quality and that the quality and character of the wider countryside is protected and, where possible, enhanced.

12.52 By its nature equestrian development requires a countryside location but the cumulative impact of development can have an adverse impact on the rural character of the area. New buildings can adversely affect landscape character and natural beauty where they detract from existing characteristics e.g. due to scale or materials or design. Therefore it is important to consider the current character of the countryside and how equine development can ultimately impact upon it. Consideration for such proposals should have regard to such aspects as:

  • Whether the site is located within or adjacent to an existing settlement;
  • It should avoid exposed skyline locations;
  • It should avoid the loss of existing vegetation;
  • The existing landform and vegetation should be utilised to integrate development with surrounding landscape;
  • Vernacular design and building hierarchy must be respected;
  • Materials that blend with the surrounding landscape should be considered. Bright finishes and unsuitable materials should be avoided;
  • New native planting can help to integrate buildings with their surroundings;
  • The proposals should be close to the bridleway network;
  • Conflict could arise between road users due to horse transportation, deliveries and horses using narrow lanes.

Policy EQ7 Equine development

Horse related facilities and equestrian enterprises in the countryside will be permitted provided:

  • New stables/field shelters closely relate to existing settlements or groups of buildings and should not interfere with the amenities of the adjoining residents
  • Their design, scale, siting and materials respect the rural character of the locality
  • Development will not be allowed to proceed unless it can be demonstrated that it will not result in any adverse impacts to the integrity of internationally designated sites
  • Any proposal for equestrian development including apparatus, jumps, maneges, schooling areas and field sub division should respect or enhance the characteristic pattern and features of the surrounding landscape.

Proposals for larger scale private or commercial enterprises should not be harmful to highway safety. This should be demonstrated by means of a traffic impact assessment.