All posts tagged Equestrian
Our clients had set up Stotfold Crest Rising Centre near Elwick, several years ago, under the expert guidance of Lesley Perry. Following a bad wrist fracture which hasn’t properly healed, Lesley decided she needed to take more of a backseat role and hand over the reins (!) to her daughter, Anne Marie, a top level equestrian in her own right who has competed at international level and is without doubt an Olympic contender for Tokyo.
The proposal submitted to Hartlepool Council involved the construction of new, high quality stables, a horse walker and a new house for Anne Marie and her family, in accordance with currently applicable case law on the subject which was cited at length to the Council.
Despite warm support from the Parish Council, who could see the benefits to the area in having Anne Marie set up her base in the north east, officers from the Council decided to ignore relevant case law and refused permission, arguing it was contrary to the Local Plan.
A hearing was held into the case in August, and the Planning Inspectors decision allowing the scheme was made public last week. In her appeal decision, the independent inspector noted that the humanitarian principles embodied in the High Court cases cited by Prism in support of the application were relevant to the case and should have been taken on board more fully by the Council. She was also critical of the Councils attempts to remove permitted rights from the proposed new dwelling and restored those rights, along with the main permission.
Prism are naturally delighted with the outcome.
Over the 10 years we have been in existence, we have fought several key battles over equestrian development -the most recent case being the promotion of an all weather international show jumping arena in the Green Belt at Gateshead for Philippa Curry, a former UK Show jumping Coach of the Year. Philippa’s proposals were due to be rejected by officers but following a committee speech by Steve Barker of Prism, members of the planning committee voted to approve her application.
Have an equestrian project or issue -we can probably help -and have a track record to prove it.
The appeal followed what was initially a case of non-determination, in which the Council had ‘dithered’ for many weeks over the application deadline. In exasperation, Prism eventually appealed after the Council had taken more than twice as long to formulate its view. After the appeal was lodged, the Council then made up its mind and decided it should have supported the case.
However, although the Council approved the revised application submitted by Prism, they imposed so many conditions that were unnecessary that Prism advised the clients that the Council’s conduct was unreasonable. The appeal therefore continued. The Planning Inspector stated that not only should the council have approved the original application, they should have given a simple approval with minimal conditions when they did eventually do the right thing. That they didn’t was patently unreasonable. The Inspector then went on to take the unusual step of awarding our clients all of their costs back from pursuing the original appeal.
Without lodging the appeal, it is doubtful whether the Council would ever have reached the right decision and the ruling confirmed that Prism’s original assessment of the situation was absolutely correct. It was the 4th such similar decision in this particular Council area and one of many similar wins that Prism has had for this type of case across the north of England.
When you need advice on equine planning matters, Prism have the demonstrable experience and proven track record to give sound advice with positive results.
It therefore gave our Director, Rod Hepplewhite, great delight in advising his clients that their application for their dwelling on land next to their stables on a site just to the west of Easingwold in Hambleton District had been approved with little difficulty and, more importantly form their point of view, within the 8 week target period.
Due to a marital break-up our client had had to relocate his business, based on the schooling and training of horses together with breeding of ponies, to a temporary site elsewhere in the district while he found a permanent site. We first obtained permission for the stables on the 9¼ acres (3.75 hectares) site as this was the most pressing need before tackling the more challenging application for the dwelling for our client and his new partner (both employed in the equestrian business).
Under normal circumstances, when an equestrian business is first established on a site, local planning authorities will only allow residential accommodation in the form of a static caravan or mobile home and for a limited period of three years. They normally also require a lot of supporting information regarding the operation of the equestrian business.
In this instance the local planning authority accepted our argument that they were looking at the relocation of an existing business rather than the establishment of an entirely new business and granted permission for our clients’ dwelling without the need for the usual supporting information. The dwelling was proposed in the form of a ‘Country Home’ bungalow, a type of mobile home, which may have assisted in us obtaining planning permission for our clients but it was still the end result our clients were hoping for and we were delighted with the swift positive outcome for them.
We have now dealt with numerous applications for equestrian and agricultural worker’s dwellings together with associated applications for stables and farm buildings and have built up a good level of expertise on the subjects. We are always happy to help clients with such proposals.
An appeal for an equestrian workers dwelling which won with full costs against a local Council has taken an interesting and bizarre new twist.
The Planning Inspector, in allowing the appeal, imposed occupancy conditions as is the normal course of events. However the unfortunate Inspector, rather than customising the standard agricultural occupancy condition, simply used the national model without change. For a farm, this would have been quite acceptable but for an equestrian dwelling gave us and our client a permission that was practically useless! Farming and equestrianism being different legal uses.
Clearly a basic but fundamental error had been made, one that the Planning Inspectorate accepted full responsibility for. However PINS refused to correct the error and the only route open to the client was to go to the High Court to get the decision set aside. On behalf of the Government, the Treasury Solicitors have already conceded the case and a new planning inspector is expected to issue a corrected decision notice shortly.
Its not very often that a client has to apply to set aside a judgement that he has won and its a great shame that the Planning Inspectorate felt unable to exert a little common sense to correct what was patently a basic and simple mistake. The case highlights the need for precision in all aspects of planning work and just shows the consequences of even seemingly minor mistakes. The planning system is not renowned for its flexibility but the case illustrates that perhaps we have swung too far in a bureaucratic direction and perhaps lost our sense of balance and perspective.