Equestrian holiday complex rejected in national park

An equestrian holiday use in the New Forest national park was refused permission, an inspector upholding an enforcement notice, with costs to the local authority.

Planning permission had been granted in 2010 for the demolition and reinstatement of barns for equestrian use. This led to the construction of a quadrangle of buildings including 13 stables, tack room, livery office and five barns. In 2014 the council had taken enforcement action on the basis that part of the complex was being used for residential purposes. The appellant stated that the accommodation would be occupied only by those using the equine complex which also necessitated three full-time workers living on site. If the stable complex was not fully utilised it would become redundant, he asserted.

No evidence had been provided to prove that the complex was not already fully utilised, the inspector concluded. Nor was it clear why three permanent staff had to live on the land for security and welfare reasons. Liveried horses did not require round the clock supervision, he held, and since the site was remote from other facilities it was not appropriate to approve holiday and permanent residential accommodation. Since the site also lay near a special protection area some form of mitigation was required and this had not been addressed.

In pursuing a separate appeal against the enforcement notice regarding the steps required for compliance, involving ceasing the residential use and removing caravans, the inspector held that there was no reasonable prospect of success. Nor had the appellant explained why it was necessary to extend the period of compliance to 12 months, and costs were awarded to the local authority.

Inspector: Simon Hand; Written representations

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