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Is planning permission required for a Manège (not Menage)?

Is planning permission required for a Manège (not Menage)?

Unfortunately, the building of any permanent equine structure whether it be a Manège, new stable block, a gallop or even a set of jumps will always need planning permission however this is not something to be scared of!
Equestrian developments within the rural landscape are now very common and typically local authorities are not averse to them as long as thought has been given towards their design.
This being said, when submitting an application, you want to make the planning officers jobs as easy as possible to give yourself the best chance of permission being granted.
To maximise your chances of success, we ensure that the following questions are asked and covered within applications as often it is the work that goes on before submission which really makes the difference:


This is one of, if not the most important consideration. Rarely will an application be granted where there is a negative response from a consulted highways officer. To ensure that you don’t fall at the first hurdle (excuse the pun) the highway impact of a development needs to be investigated from the outset.
Often, we find that the proposed development will not have a detrimental impact on highway safety, for example, applications for “personal use” equestrian developments rarely lead to an increase in traffic too and from the site.
Where the application is made in connection with a business and an increase in traffic is inevitable an assessment by ourselves or an independent highways report can be advisable.

Visual Impact

The amount of weight that will be given to this point will depend on your location. If you are positioned within an AONB, this should definitely be covered within your application and thought should be given on its impact and ways of mitigating any landscape impact.
Think about positioning the Manège in a naturally screened location or proposing a tree planting/ landscaping scheme alongside the application, this will increase your chances of success.
There is no ‘best design’ as every site is different. In some case we have advised to excavate down so the finished level of the Manège is much the same as the existing field / yard area, whereas in other cases, using the topsoil from the site to create a grass bund around the manage providing a visual screen, has been better suited.
Natural timber fencing surrounding the arena, which will blend in with the environment, will add to the argument that the development will have minimal impact on the surrounding landscape. If like the majority of people, you wish to erect jumps within the arena, you may want to give some thought to their design especially if you are within an AONB, as Wiltshire Council have recently been conditioning the pre-approval of jumps to successful applications.


Following on from and linked to visual impact, lighting can result in a black mark against your application with the movement towards ‘Dark Night Skies’. If time is limited, consider removing lighting from the application and deal with it at a later date via a variation of condition application.

Neighbouring Amenity

Often the property is already being used in connection with other livestock therefore odour is rarely an issue. If there was a reason for ensuring that you maintain a healthy relationship with your neighbours, their support to your planning applications would be it.
A common conversation I have would be along the lines of “I would love to apply for planning permission for X however my neighbour would definitely object to it”. Yes, the council have to consider all representation letters right up to the determination date, whether they are positive or negative however only ‘material considerations’ will be detrimental.

The above list is far from exhaustive; however, it provides the key building blocks to submitting a successful application.

Be Proactive not Reactive by identifying any potential issues prior to submission and address them within your application.

If you are considering constructing a Manège or any equestrian facility, do get in contact with Chris Cary.

Chris Cary
Written by

Chris Cary

Chartered Surveyor and Agricultural Valuer

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