LA5 Criteria for Horse Shelters and Stables Policy
Proposals for horse shelters and stables for non-commercial purposes will be permitted where all the following criteria can be satisfied:
(i) the development would not be intrusive within the local landscape nor prejudicial to nature conservation interests;
(ii) the development is appropriate to a rural setting, in terms of its scale, design, materials and external appearance; and
(iii) at least 0.4 hectares of grazing land for each horse is available at the same location.
When granting consent, the Local Planning Authority may impose a condition requiring a specific and identified area of land to be available at all times for the use of horses to be housed in the development proposed.
Reasoned justification :
14.26 Wirral has an exceptionally large horse population and the latest surveys available to the British Horse Society indicate that there is a higher concentration of horses in Wirral than in most other parts of the Country. The riding of horses and other related equestrian activities are also increasingly popular.
14.27 While facilities for horses used for agricultural purposes do not normally require planning permission, facilities for the keeping of horses for purposes not directly related to farming require formal planning consent. Such uses are appropriate to be located within the Green Belt. However, the Local Planning Authority considers it is necessary to control the scale and impact of horse-related development, especially in order to prevent the erection of discordant, urban-type structures and a proliferation of poorly located stables, shelters and other related small buildings throughout an otherwise open landscape. Policy LA5, therefore, specifically provides for horse-related development to be sited in order that its visual impact can be minimised and to be constructed of materials appropriate to a rural setting.
14.28 Policy LA5 also specifically requires an area of open land to be set aside for the use of horses to be housed in the development proposed. This requirement not only serves to prevent over-grazing and to promote animal welfare, it also limits the number of buildings permitted within the open countryside and helps to ensure that a predominantly open aspect is retained within Green Belt areas. It is expressed as a minimum standard of 0.4 hectares for every horse, which is the metric equivalent to the one acre standard endorsed by the British Horse Society.