07 May Certificate of Lawful Use Gained for Commercial Equestrian Yard

In 2016, we were approached by an international event rider who had received an enforcement notice for the erection of buildings without planning permission. It was vital for his business and livelihood that we achieved retention of the buildings on site and we prepared two separate applications; a Certificate of Lawfulness and a retrospective planning application.

Many of the buildings on site has been in existence for over four years and as such benefited from immunity from enforcement by virtue of a Certificate of Lawfulness. At the early stage of the process we were involved in meetings with a member of South Gloucestershire Council enforcement team. Discussions were required to establish the professional nature of the business and we had to point out that the application was for a world class athlete and not a riding school or DIY livery yard. This claim was supported by providing press cuttings, results and letters from owners and the British Eventing chef d’equipe.

For two of barns there was insufficient evidence to meet the four-year test of time to benefit from immunity and we prepared a retrospective application. Once of the biggest constraints was the Green Belt and we had to work closely with South Gloucestershire Council to overcome any perceived harm. Another issue was the impact on a public footpath which was directly impacted by the development.

The two applications required considerable monitoring and further discussions with the council. In June 2017, we finally achieved permission for both applications which will allow the client to continue to compete and train horses lawfully.