top of page

What is Equine Planning and how do we differ from other planning companies?

Equine Planning Solutions was established in September 2013 which makes us one of the very first companies in the UK to specialise in equestrian planning and design.

Equestrian projects are unique, you will find that most architects and planning consultants undertake very little equestrian work with the majority of their projects being habitable buildings designed for people not animals. The local planning authorities are in a similar position with most planning applications being for residential, retail, education or industrial projects. Believe it or not there are very few recognised standards for equestrian buildings whereas the standards for habitable buildings are extremely onerous to ensure that buildings are safe, energy efficient and accessible.

Because equestrian facilities are not controlled by Building Regulations you will find lots of companies out there selling equestrian buildings and arenas. In fact, you could if you wanted to, build your own equestrian facilities without any qualifications or to any specific standards of workmanship but the one thing you will definitely need before you make a start is planning approval for your equestrian projects otherwise all your hard work could amount to nothing should your local planning enforcement officer order you to take it down or dig it up!

Because of the mystique surrounding equestrian design and equine planning most people do not even realise they need planning permission for equestrian buildings or outdoor arenas, they believe they are permitted development or in some cases not buildings at all. Equestrian facilities don’t look out of place in the countryside so why would you need planning approval? This mystery is perpetuated by lots of equestrian building companies who will gloss over the need for planning approval for your new stables, arena, horsewalker or barn leaving you to pick up the pieces if it all goes horribly wrong.

The fact is planning permission covers anything on, over or under the ground so there is always a strong chance that what you intend to build will need planning approval so before you purchase anything or start digging up the paddock its good practice to check whether approval is required. If you need a clear and honest answer you can ask your local planning authority or if they want money off you for the privilege don’t hesitate to come to Equine Planning Solutions for a free planning assessment.

So what is Equine Planning?

In basic terms its obtaining planning approval for equestrian use, equestrian buildings or ancillary equestrian facilities such as horsewalkers, lunge pens, horsebox parking areas or even residential accommodation for grooms and trainers.


Equine Planning Solutions only work on equestrian projects, in fact we have obtained planning approval for literally hundreds of equestrian facilities throughout the UK from private stable yards of 2 – 3 boxes to multi-million-pound International Competition Centres. Some of the most common projects we work on are outdoor arenas which are a staple for any horse owner when you consider the weather we enjoy in the UK! Even 40m x 20m outdoor arenas can cost you between £20k and £50k in today’s market so don’t be tempted to invest all that money before you obtain the planning approval you need no matter what the arena contractor says. The cost of a planning application for an outdoor arena is likely to be around 10% of the construction cost, its still a lot of money but remember the need for planning permission is non-negotiable as far as your council are concerned so its money well spent.

Our role as Equine Planners involves preparing detailed planning application drawings and supporting documents, these form the basis of planning applications which we then submit to the local planning authority on your behalf. In some situations the planning authority may also request specialist surveys or reports, these can include ecology, tree surveys, highways assessments, heritage assessments, drainage calculations or archaeology reports to name but a few. Where necessary we obtain quotes for these specialist consultant services and co-ordinate the consultant works. Once the planning application has been lodged we also deal with the planning officer and respond to any objections from statutory consultees or members of the public. It is an end-to-end service, we do all the hard work so you can relax in the knowledge your planning application is in good hands.

Before we undertake any of our projects we carry out a desk-based planning assessment which gives us, and the client, a heads-up in terms of any specialist reports that may be required. If we can identify any planning hurdles early in the process we can usually design them out reducing the need for consultant works and saving the client money in the process. Where it is not possible to design out planning issues, for example where the proposed scheme will see an intensification in traffic to site or construction close to listed buildings, we will work with the consultant team to mitigate planning impact and so improve your chances of obtaining planning approval.

There is no ‘one size fits all approach’ to equine planning, each client has their own ideas and every site comes with its own unique planning considerations. The value of Equine Planning comes from expertise in design and specialist planning experience. Our role is not to sell you stables or build you arenas it is to make sure you obtain planning approval for the things you need so you can go ahead and build them without fear of legal action. Designing your project to mitigate planning concerns and presenting your planning application in a way that maximises your chances of approval are critical to the success of your equine planning application so if you need assistance speak to the experts.


Contact Us

Call:  0845 5442005

Copyright 2023 © Equine Planning Solutions LTD

bottom of page