Development Management SPD
7 Agricultural, equestrian, and structures in the countryside
7.1 Local Plan Policy GD3 confirms that only development for the purposes of agriculture and similar rural based activity will be appropriate in the countryside. In general, new agricultural buildings in the countryside will be permitted where they are required in connection with agriculture and provided that they do not have an adverse effect on the character and appearance of the countryside.
AGRICULTURAL AND EQUESTRIAN BUILDINGS
7.2 In general, new agricultural and equestrian buildings in the countryside will be permitted where they are required in connection with agriculture and equestrian activities provided that they are necessary for those purposes and do not have an adverse effect on the character and appearance of the countryside.
Siting, Scale & Design
7.3 Wherever possible, new agricultural and equestrian buildings should be located adjacent to an existing complex of agricultural or other buildings, or sited in a location which minimises their intrusiveness and prominence in the landscape. A location in the most sheltered part of the field will provide the best protection for the horses. However, this needs to be balanced against choosing the least prominent location within the wider landscape. Locations close to residential properties will not be permitted where they are likely to be the source of disturbance to neighbours in terms of noise, smell or loss of privacy.
7.4 The proposed building should be of appropriate massing and scale for its use and location. Particular attention should be given to the required scale and height of the building to ensure that the impact on the landscape is kept to a minimum.
7.5 Careful attention must be given to the materials proposed for the agricultural building. Colours such as dark green, dark brown and dark grey are encouraged and preferred to lighter colours. Stables in the open countryside should be of a wooden construction so it blends in with the rural surroundings. Caravans and other forms of storage should be avoided. The most appropriate roof colour will normally be a dark grey, brown or black and usually made of onduline material. Stables in the open countryside constructed of stone, brick or blockwork will be resisted due to their visual impact and incongruous nature in the rural scene.
7.6 A landscape scheme will serve to enhance and soften the appearance of the development. Attention should be directed to the impact of the building from surrounding viewpoints and screening provided where appropriate. Indigenous species of trees and shrubs appropriate to the local area should be planted. Coniferous trees and hedging is alien to the countryside and should be avoided.
7.7 Planning permission will not normally be required for grazing a horse in a paddock. However, when show jumps and related equipment are kept on the land for more than 28 days in any calendar year, it may be considered that a change of use has taken place for which planning permission would be required.
7.8 Jumps and other equipment relating to equestrian activities can be unsightly and therefore the District Council encourages the provision of separate storage for jumps and other equipment when not in frequent use.
7.9 External lighting is not normally permitted, in particular column lighting for maneges will be resisted due to the adverse visual impact upon the rural area. Where lighting is appropriate and justified particular care should be taken to ensure that the lighting is not excessive and intrusive in the countryside.
Use of land
7.10 The division of land into pony paddocks for recreational purposes may not require planning permission, but can have an adverse affect on the appearance of the countryside. If the sub-division of land is necessary, any fencing erected should be kept to a minimum and be of a uniform design and materials and should be well-maintained.
7.11 Care should be taken to ensure that the erosion of land (through the grazing and exercising of horses) is kept to a minimum. Planning permission will be required for the construction of an exercise area or manege on agricultural land. The location of a manege should be given careful consideration to ensure that it is not in a prominent location and does not become a source of disturbance to neighbouring properties. Consideration should also be given to the surface materials used for maneges and exercise areas in particular the colour to ensure that such uses do not have an adverse impact on the character of the landscape.
SPORT AND RECREATION BUILDINGS
7.12 With the increasing popularity of, and involvement in sport and recreational activities amongst the population, pressure on the countryside can be expected to grow. A number of sport and leisure uses need and benefit from a location in the countryside due to the amount of land take required and the activities involved. Many such uses can be successfully integrated into the countryside provided that proposals are handled sensitively.
7.13 Many sport and leisure uses in the countryside require ancillary buildings, i.e. clubhouses, changing rooms, for the efficient operation of the activity. Where required, new buildings should be sympathetically designed to integrate with their surroundings and careful consideration should be given to the massing and scale of such buildings. Where possible, buildings should be sited near to existing landscape features and in a position which minimises their impact on the landscape. The number of buildings required should be kept to a minimum.
7.14 It is recognised that outdoor lighting is often required to extend the hours of use of sporting activities. The majority of lighting installations proposed for playing fields, golf ranges, tennis courts, equestrian activities etc. will require planning permission. The amount of lighting required should be kept to a required minimum. Lighting should be directed solely to the area it is required to illuminate and glare and spillage kept to a minimum. The lighting should be switched off when not required. The impact of the lighting columns on the landscape also needs to be considered and careful siting and design is required.
7.15 A number of sport and recreational uses seek to place advertisement boards within the site, for example, around the perimeter of sports pitches. Whether express advertisement consent is required or not will depend on a number of factors such as the nature of the site, the position, size and purpose of the advertisements, and the siting of the advertisement(s) within the site. If advertisements are required, the number proposed should be kept to a minimum and sited in a position that is well screened and not prominent in the surrounding landscape.
Access and Car Parking
7.16 A satisfactory access and adequate parking provision shall be provided within the site to serve the development. Careful consideration should be given to the layout of the car park and to the materials proposed for the surfacing of the parking area to ensure that it remains in keeping with the character and appearance of the countryside. Effective boundary treatment and planting in car parks can help soften the impact on the countryside.
Would you like to make any comments in relation to Section 7? Please quote relevant paragraph numbers in your response.