Agricultural and Rural

Planning Permission Granted for Agricultural Barns for Equestrian Use within Breckland.

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Summary We are pleased to have planning permission granted within Breckland for the demolition and replacement of 3 no. agricultural barns, and retention of 2 no. agricultural barns to be used for ancillary purposes to the business, and the change of use of the buildings and land to be used in relation to the commercial keeping of horses and horse breeding.

Proposal The proposal relates to a horse/equestrian use for the clients’ personal business which he has relocated to the site. Following moving from Devon to Norfolk, our client purchased a site approximately 45 minutes from Newmarket, to run his business breeding and rearing Thoroughbred horses. The site includes 3 poultry barns and 2 smaller sheds. The 3 barns will be demolished and replaced. One will be an open barn for storage and housing young livestock over the wet winter months. One will be used for stables for the older horses and the final one will be changed into a muck heap, horse walker and hay/straw barn. The two smaller sheds will be retained to be used for storage purposes associated with the equestrian use.

Our Advice The site was previously used for agricultural purposes as a poultry farm with poultry sheds on site. Whilst the site was vacant when the applicant purchased it, and started using the site for the keeping of horses, that previous agricultural use could be brought back. This is because agricultural uses are not considered as ‘development’ and would therefore be permitted development. The fact that the existing buildings remain, and the site was previously used for poultry, means that it should be regarded as its lawful use and when the proposed use of the site is considered this should be assessed within the context of the lawful/previous use of the site. The history of the use of the site and associated traffic movements should also be considered in the weighing up process of the proposed use vs the previous/lawful use of the site. Traffic movements associated with small poultry farms generally involve more traffic movements than the proposed use, amounting to less than 6 traffic movements per day on average undertaken by cars or small lorries as opposed to more movements with larger vehicles associated with poultry use.

There are neighbouring equine properties, of which neither would compete with the clients’ business, but both show that an equine business can work in the local vicinity with no objection from local people and is part of the character of the area.

The principle of development for this proposal is established through the policies in the NPPF which supports the diversification of the rural economy and through the local policy EC 06 Farm Diversification. The policy supports proposals that would make a positive contribution to the continued viability of a farm holding, and it is reasonable to suggest that this proposal achieves that by bringing a redundant site back into use.

Outcome The proposal was granted planning permission, being acceptable in terms of scale, siting, and design, and would not have unacceptable impacts on highway safety, landscape, amenity or biodiversity interest, as well as being in accordance with relevant local and national policy.

With extensive experience in the agricultural and rural sector, we are well placed to help you achieve planning permission for your rural enterprise.


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