Planning for Indoor Riding Arenas

An Indoor Arena is often the largest building on a stable yard, as most yards are situated within the open countryside the design of these buildings needs careful consideration of planning permission is to be achieved.

Indoor arenas can be constructed from scratch or may come in the form of converted agricultural buildings. If you plan on converting an agricultural building to create an Indoor Arena you will need to apply to the local authority for change of use regardless of whether there will be any change to the external appearance of the building or not. In most cases a change of use application will be straightforward and will avoid the stress of having to apply for permission retrospectively once the indoor arena is in full use.

Indoor Arenas are by design large buildings and will have a significant visual impact on the site and surrounding landscape. Your site may lie within the Greenbelt, AONB or Area of High Landscape Value. In these instances, it may be preferable to convert or replace an existing building as planning policies affecting such sites tend to discourage the construction of buildings other than those which can be justified for agricultural purposes.

Careful use of external materials and landscaping can be used to help mitigate the visual impact of large buildings, another option may be to replace a number of smaller redundant buildings with one new building. This has the effect of tidying up the site as well as reducing the spread of development meaning some areas of the site previously occupied by buildings can be returned to paddock – a planning gain. The new Indoor Arena in this instance may therefore include stables or other ancillary equestrian facilities which had previously been scattered across the site in buildings which may not have been fit for purpose. With due consideration, this may also have a positive impact on stable yard management.

Equestrian Planning Services specialise in obtaining planning approvals for stables, arenas, gallops and other equestrian facilities throughout the UK. We offer a free no obligation planning assessment which will tell you whether or not your project requires planning approval, what will need to be submitted as part of your planning application and your chances of receiving approval. To speak with one of our team call 0845 544 2005.