If you have already submitted a planning application for stables, arena or
temporary/permanent dwelling and the planning authority have told you that there
insufficient justification, or that it does not comply with policy, then contact
us to provide an expert opinion report.
We regularly supply expert reports to support clients’ applications. These can
set out why facilities are necessary for the efficient management of the
enterprise or equine welfare; argue your case that the proposed development
fully complies with planning policy; provide a full financial analysis of your
accounts to show that the
business is viable.
We are happy to take instructions from agents or their clients.
New Businesses and Temporary Dwellings
2018 was an extremely busy year with a record number of planning permissions for
temporary and permanent dwellings and Certificates of Lawfulness.
We have had 100% success rate of temporary dwellings to support brand new
businesses. It isn’t always necessary to wait until the business is up and
However, it is crucial that expert advice is taken to ensure that the business
model complies with the relevant planning policy tests.
We have had several clients decide that they would rather continue to live in
their log cabins than submit an application for a traditional permanent
built of brick, after three years. In these cases we submit a Variation of
Condition to enable the log cabin to be retained permanently. This can be a
good route to
take because the business won’t need to show sufficient profit after three years
to fund the cost of a house build. However, in every other respect the
the same and it is not any easier to retain a log cabin than it is to build a
Permanent Dwellings After Three Years
It is important to remember that planning permissions for temporary dwellings
expire precisely three years from the date of the permission, regardless of
when they are built and occupied.
Whilst these temporary permissions indicate that a permanent dwelling will be
permitted at the site, subject to the functional and financial tests being met,
it is essential
that the application is properly prepared as a refusal will result in the
temporary dwelling being removed.
The level of profitability required for a permanent dwelling is much higher and
the application will be examined in much more detail. If the level of profit
is insufficient it is very unlikely that a successful appeal could be made.
Make sure that you have expert advice in relation to the accounts to ensure that
your net profit
covers everything necessary - once the figures have been submitted it is too
late. Our expert understanding of equine business means that we have never had
application fail the financial test.
If your business has been running for some time it could be possible to obtain
planning permission for a permanent dwelling without first having to live in a
mobile home for three years.
Last year we were able to achieve this for three clients. In two of these
cases, the clients came to Equine Commercial-Legal having had a previous
application refused, one also dismissed at appeal.
The successful re-submission of these applications demonstrates the importance
of a thorough understanding of the way in which equine businesses are run and
financial analysis in the context of the relevant planning policy. Sally-Ann is
acknowledged by leading planning consultancies as an expert in equine business.
If you have had a planning application for a dwelling refused on the grounds
that your business is not viable we may be able to help you.
In the last year we have repeatedly achieved success for temporary and permanent
dwellings on sites as small as three and a half acres. These have included
brand new enterprises with little or no existing infrastructure.
We were able to assist clients by creating viable business models to fulfill the
financial test and preparing business plans and forecasts to show that a very
enterprise can be sufficiently viable to comply with rural enterprise dwelling
Previously Refused Applications
Prior to contacting us the client had decided to withdraw an application for a
rural enterprise dwelling because it was going to be refused. This was due to
Council’s consultant concluding that there was no functional need to live on
site and that the accounts showed that the business was not viable. This meant
the client would have had to move off the site as soon as the temporary planning
permission for the mobile home expired.
However, we were able to make the case for there being a need to live on site
and decisively analyse the accounts to prove that the business was viable. The
application represented an unusual business model that relied on a very small
number of horses, but our thorough understanding of the equine industry and an
innovative approach to interpreting the planning policy led to a very quick
approval once resubmitted.
It is crucial that these applications are prepared by a consultant specialising
in equine business to provide a decisive financial analysis and prove that the
business is viable.
We have never had an application fail the financial test.
six months of the year have been extremely busy with an increase in planning
applications across all types of development. These have
ranged from temporary dwellings to support both new and existing enterprises to
brand new yards as clients take advantage of ‘support in favour of
Whilst many of our clients run large
competition yards with horses of considerable value, small enterprises with a
low turnover are equally capable of fulfilling the
criteria necessary to obtain planning permission for a temporary dwelling.
Enterprises only need show that they are viable.
However, many of our clients are not
running businesses at all, but want to create well-designed yards for their
family’s horses and ponies. Increasingly,
these applications require detailed justification for the amount and size of the
development in terms of the specific use of the horses and their welfare needs.
Our expertise has enabled us to
provide this evidence to obtain successful outcomes for our clients, even where
other rural consultancies have said there
was no possibility of obtaining permission.
Each year we are contacted by people
who have had applications for temporary dwellings refused. Unfortunately, all
too frequently these relate to
retrospective applications where they are already living on site to look after
their horses and are then subject to enforcement action to remove them.
The refusal usually relates to a ‘lack of functional need’. However, we
frequently find that there is a clear functional need and the application has
through a lack of detailed expert opinion. We have been able to present the
evidence at appeal enabling clients to remain on site.
Already includes permanent dwelling applications for an eventing yard, a
competition/breeding yard, dressage/training yard and a new enterprise.
We are delighted that three of our existing clients have contacted us again this
year. We previously helped these clients to set up new businesses with a
temporary dwelling. Three years later, we are now ready to submit a planning
application for a permanent dwelling.
In such cases, the principle of a dwelling on site has been accepted and,
provided that the business continues to operate in much the same way, there
be no problem in demonstrating that the ‘functional test’ is fulfilled.
However, whilst new businesses have done extremely well to establish themselves
in a very difficult economic period, unless they have made sufficient
profit by the third year they will not be able to fulfil the ‘financial test’.
The financial test is determined in accordance with a specific formula which
takes account of investment in the enterprise, labour requirements and the cost
proposed dwelling. In addition, the financial test will be considered in the
context of the projections submitted with the temporary dwelling application.
For these reasons, it is essential that specialist professional help is obtained
from someone who not only has a thorough understanding of the equine
but is also able to interpret accounts.
Since the publication of the NPPF, much confusion exists with regard to the
financial test. This stems from the fact that the NPPF does not refer to
viability in relation
to paragraph 55 ‘… the essential need for a rural worker to live permanently at
or near their place of work in the countryside.’
However, most LPAs have their own local policies in line with Annex A of the
PPS7 against which they appraise workers’ dwelling applications. In these
financial test remains and LPAs request evidence of viability in the form of a
business plan and projections.
another successful year for both Equine Commercial-Legal and our clients.
Projects have included:
applications relating to temporary dwellings for new equestrian
businesses. We have prepared appraisals setting out precisely why a
needed to enable the business to become established and have put
together business plans and projections to demonstrate to the planning
authority that the proposed business is planned on a sound financial
basis. New enterprises have ranged from show yards and studs to
dwelling applications for existing businesses with temporary
dwellings on site for just three years, as well as established yards
accommodation, including eventing and dressage yards.
business plans to enable existing enterprises to secure bank loans for
We are also
pleased to have been instructed by yet more planning authorities during 2013/14.
publication of the National Planning Policy Framework (NPPF) the number of
applications for equestrian workers’ dwellings has increased and our expertise
the equine industry has been in greater demand as the planning authorities seek
to ensure that dwellings really are essential and that businesses are viable.
We continue to work extensively for clients in Wales who need to show that their
applications fulfil the five tests set out in Technical Advice Note 6 (TAN 6).
In particular, the financial test is demanding with a requirement for a thorough
business plan and five year projections. With our understanding of equestrian
models we have been able to demonstrate decisively that businesses are viable.