DC Casebook: Agricultural Development - Barn dismissed at green belt stables

A portal frame barn proposed in the Hertfordshire green belt has been rejected as inappropriate after an inspector found that use of the land for rearing horses is not lawful.

The appellant kept, bred and stabled horses on some 3ha of land containing a manege, two stable buildings and a large barn. He owned 65 animals, most of which were grazed on land rented elsewhere in the area. However, stallions, mares close to foaling and foals were kept on the site. The barn would be used to store hay, he explained.

The inspector decided that equestrian use of the land appeared not to be lawful, since planning permission had not been granted and a lawful development certificate had not been issued. Moreover, he considered that the appellant's reliance on rented land to sustain the enterprise raised serious questions as to whether a building of the size proposed could be justified in the longer term.

He was concerned that the equestrian enterprise might contract in size, in which case the council would be faced with a large building in the countryside that was no longer necessary. The appellant had not shown sufficient justification for the building and consequently it conflicted with green belt policy, he concluded.

DCS Number 100-064-125

Inspector Bob Marshall; Hearing

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