Jo Robb

James Norman



Ms Claudia Soyoye



Well Place Stables Urquhart Lane Ipsden, OX10 6QZ



Replacement of existing stable yard and grooms accommodation to provide 10 stables and associated facilities for use as 7 full liveries and 3 DIY liveries and use of existing arena in association with the liveries.



Simon Kitson






This application is referred to planning committee as the officer’s recommendation of approval conflicts with the views of Ipsden Parish Council.



The site

The application site (shown at Appendix A) is comprised of an existing equestrian yard and manege within the ownership of Well Place Manor

which is located to the west. The neighbouring property, Hedlams, is a Grade II listed building. A public footpath runs through the site access, continuing south towards the woodland at Berins Hill.  The site falls within the Chilterns Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB).



There have been previous consents at the site for the provision of the riding arena, improved stabling facilities and upgrades to the groom’s accommodation, though these do not all appear to have been fully implemented. The consents have been subject to the condition that the facilities shall be used only in connection with the keeping of horses for the private leisure purposes of the owner and shall not be used for any commercial activity. 



The plans of the existing facility are attached at Appendix B.



The proposal

Full planning permission is sought for the demolition and replacement of an existing stable yard. The proposed replacement yard would provide 10 stables offering 7 full liveries and 3 DIY liveries together with associated storage and facilities. A replacement groom’s cottage would also be provided and

permission is sought for the existing arena to be used by all horses stabled at the yard.

The proposed site plans, elevations and floor plans are attached as Appendix C. All associated documents and consultation responses can be viewed on the council’s website:





Ipsden Parish Council – Objection

·         The site is being used on a commercial basis in contravention of the conditions attached to previous planning application.

·         Access to the site is poor due to the highway conditions. Commercial use of the site risks significant disruption to local residents and it would affect the character of this part of the AONB.

·         The current site usage may not be a problem, but there is no guarantee that future usage would be acceptable.

·         While design of the stables is broadly sympathetic to its location, there are concerns over the design of the grooms accommodation, including the scale and height, within views from the AONB landscape.

·         This could be used as an independent dwelling by future occupiers.

·         The proposed design includes large south facing windows for the Groom’s accommodation. These risk unnecessary light pollution.

·         If permission is granted, this should be subject to conditions restricting the use of the accommodation, confining the commercial activity to stabling only, restricting on the number of separate horse owners and balance of full/DIY livery. Controls should also be placed on the ridge height and external lighting

·         The amendment has not fully addressed the Parish Council’s concerns


Conservation Officer (South and Vale) – No objection

·         The design would be in keeping with the equestrian character of the site. It would remain subservient to Well Place and cohesive with the stable buildings.

·         Approval should be subject to agreement over suitable external materials.


South and Vale Countryside Officer – No objection, subject to conditions covering mitigation measures, biodiversity enhancements and approval of a lighting scheme.


Drainage - (South and Vale) – No objection, subject to foul and surface water drainage conditions requiring approval of specific details


Forestry Officer (South and Vale) – No objection following amendment to drainage field position. Approval should be subject to a tree protection condition.


South -Highways Liaison Officer (Oxfordshire County Council) – No objection, with comments

·         The Council should give consideration to the poor accessibility of the site to pedestrian infrastructure and the limited local facilities. Customers would be highly dependent upon private motor vehicles

·         It is not considered that the movements associated with the proposal would be sufficient to warrant refusal. Furthermore, the movements are likely to be outside of the peak traffic period.

·         it is suggested that a planning condition be recommended to ensure the proposal remains as livery use only and not to become a commercial use with regards to horse riding lessons etc.

·         The proposal provides ample parking and turning provision and it is unlikely that vehicles will be displaced onto the adopted Highway so as to cause and obstruction.


Environmental Protection Team – No objection, subject to conditions controlling construction activity impacts.


CPRE South Oxfordshire District Committee – Concerns raised:

·         The buildings should settle into this sensitive landscape. However, the clock turret feature is not appropriate.

·         The gates should be of simple timber design

·         A condition relating to external lighting should be imposed.


Neighbour Comments (1) Key points:


·         The proposed design would be elegant and a positive addition to the lane.

·         Urquart Lane is a small rural lane, with limited turning space and pot holes. Traffic should be kept limited on a long-term basis through conditions restricting, amongst other things, the full/DIY livery balance, the range of commercial activities and the occupation of the grooms accommodation.

·         There should be controls over external lighting and the committee should consider whether the height of the building would impact upon the public visible skyline.


Neighbour Objection (1) Key points:

·         The proposal would create obstructions and inconvenience along the lane as a result of the increased vehicular activity





P11/E2362 - Approved (18/10/2012)

Restoration of existing barn building with groom's accommodation upgraded and lean-to buildings re-built for office/security/ancillary use.

Demolition of sheds behind American stable building and re-building with improved roofs of sheds to same area.


P11/E1105 - Approved (23/08/2011)

Construction of an all weather riding arena.


P98/S0482/RET - Approved (02/02/2001)

Repairs and alterations to existing buildings, to replace existing stables with new stable building and hay barn, construct new manure bin, extend existing paved area.  (Retrospective).  Erect 4 additional stables and tractor shed/hay barn.






Whilst the site is within a sensitive area, the scale of the proposal and likely level of impact are not considered sufficient to require submission of an Environmental Impact Assessment.





South Oxfordshire Local Plan 2035 (SOLP) Policies:




DES1  -  Delivering High Quality Development

DES10  -  Carbon Reduction

DES2  -  Enhancing Local Character

DES5  -  Outdoor Amenity Space

DES6  -  Residential Amenity

DES9  -  Renewable Energy

EMP10  -  Development in Rural Areas

ENV1  -  Landscape and Countryside

ENV2  -  Biodiversity - Designated sites, Priority Habitats and Species

ENV3  -  Biodiversity

ENV6  -  Historic Environment

ENV7  -  Listed Buildings

EP4  -  Flood Risk

H1  -  Delivering New Homes

H18  -  Replacement Dwellings

TRANS5  -  Consideration of Development Proposals



Neighbourhood Planning


The site does not fall within a designated neighbourhood plan area




Supplementary Planning Guidance/Documents


South Oxfordshire and Vale of White Horse Joint Design Guide 2022



National Planning Policy Framework and Planning Practice Guidance



Other Relevant Legislation


Human Rights Act 1998

The provisions of the Human Rights Act 1998 have been taken into account in the processing of the application and the preparation of this report.



Equality Act 2010

In determining this planning application the Council has regard to its equalities obligations including its obligations under Section 149 of the Equality Act 2010.










The relevant planning considerations are the following:


·         Principle of development

·         Design and character

·         Highway safety

·         Arboricultural impact

·         Ecological impact

·         Drainage arrangement

·         Energy Efficiency

·         Residential amenity




Principle of development

The existing buildings have a functional appearance and are not considered to be of architectural or historic interest. There is no objection in principle to their replacement. The design of the buildings would need to be considered against the design objectives of the development plan, having regard to the surrounding historic environment and the special landscape character of the AONB. There is already lawful groom’s accommodation at the site and as such, a replacement dwelling for the same purpose is not considered to be contentious.



With regard to the proposed use of the site, officers are mindful of the broad support under Policy EMP10 of the SOLP for rural tourism and leisure developments that benefit businesses, communities and visitors in rural areas where they respect the character of the countryside. Policy EMP11 further supports farm diversification and equine development, provided that proposals are in keeping with the scale and character of the locality and would not adversely affect heritage assets or their setting.



Notwithstanding the conditions attached to the previous planning consents, the scale of commercial use proposed is relatively small, confined to liveries of which 7 would be fully managed by the groom and 3 would be DIY. Riding lessons, competitions and other non-equestrian activities with the potential to have a greater impact upon the rural surroundings would be excluded. This is a type of business which would typically be located in a rural area and officers consider the principle to be acceptable, subject to compliance with all other relevant development plan policies pertaining to the character and appearance of the area, the amenity of the neighbouring properties and highway safety.



Design, character and landscape

The proposed facilities would be set out in a traditional courtyard arrangement, and they would generally have a low height and simple vernacular forms consistent with their equestrian function. This is recognised by the Conservation and Design Team, who raise no objection to the design of the stabling or the groom’s accommodation. They consider that the accommodation would be visually subservient to Well Place and cohesive with the stable buildings. Officers are satisfied, on the basis of the advice provided that there would not be an adverse impact upon the setting of the listed buildings in accordance with SOLP Policies ENV6 and ENV7.




Officers note the concerns expressed by other respondents to the consultation and do accept that the facility would be visible in public views from the adjacent footpath. However, the site is within reasonably close proximity to other built form. In most public viewpoints from the south, the facility would be appraised in the context of the dwellings to the north. The courtyard design is well justified, and the forms proposed would be broadly in keeping with the strong rural character and architectural styles of this part of the Chilterns AONB. Whilst the dwelling would have a higher ridge height than the attached stabling, officers do not consider that it would be a visually incongruous feature within the range of buildings and it would not have an overly domestic appearance. Officers do not consider that the clock tower feature would compromise the overall character of the development or result in an adverse and dominant impact within the landscape.




Following the amendment to the scheme, officers consider the area of glazing to be acceptable, but it is agreed that external lighting will need to be considered carefully. This can be the subject of a condition. Subject to this, and further agreement over the specific materials, officers are satisfied that the proposal complies with the relevant parts of SOLP Policies DES1, DES2 and ENV1 and that it would preserve the special landscape character of the Chiterns AONB in accordance with Paragraph 176 of the NPPF.



It is proposed to remove all permitted development rights for the groom’s accommodation, in order to ensure that the Council retains control over the assessment of the formation of any additional openings or external alterations to the dwelling. This is considered reasonable having regard to the sensitivity of the location.



Highway safety

Officers note previous conditions requiring the facility to be used solely for the leisure use of the occupants of Well Place Manor. The reason given for each related to safeguarding the character of the area and avoiding the introduction of commercial uses. There was no specific reference to highway safety.



The applicant is agreeable to conditions explicitly restricting the use of the site for livery purposes only. The majority of the livery would rely on the on-site groom taking full responsibility for the care of the horses. Only 3 DIY units are proposed and officers do not consider it likely that they would generate a significant number of vehicular movements at peak times.



It is noted that the local highway conditions on the approach to the site are not likely to be suitable for large increases in traffic due to the narrowness of parts of the lane and limited numbers of passing places. Expert advice on this was sought from the Local Highways Authority (LHA). They raise no technical objection on the basis that the scale of the proposed livery use would not result in sufficient additional vehicular movements onto the rural lane to present a material risk to highway safety. They support conditions restricting other commercial activities. Moreover, they consider that ample parking and turning provision would be provided in the site in order to avoid vehicles being displaced onto the public highway. On the basis of this advice, officers consider that the proposal accords with SOLP Policy TRANS5



Arboricultural impact

Following an amendment moving the below ground drainage infrastructure away from the boundary hedge, the Council’s Forestry Team raise no objection to the proposal. This is subject to a condition requiring agreement of measures ensuring the satisfactory protection of trees and hedges on and adjacent to the site during demolition and construction. With this in place, the proposal complies with the relevant parts of Policy ENV1.



Ecological impact

The submitted ecological information and surveys detail the likely impacts upon protected species within the site. The Council’s ecologist is satisfied that a Natural England License is likely to be granted with appropriate mitigation in place. They have no objection, subject to appropriate wildlife compensation and measures being agreed by way of condition and for details of external lighting to be agreed. With these measures in place, officers are satisfied that the proposal complies with SOLP Policies ENV2 and ENV3.



Drainage arrangement

The site does not fall within Flood Zone 2 or 3. It is however known to be within an area at risk from surface water flooding. The Council’s drainage engineer has considered the proposed foul and surface water drainage details and raises no objection, subject to further technical details being agreed as a condition of consent. The applicant does not object to this approach. With the conditions in place, officers are satisfied that the proposal accords with SOLP Policy EP4.



Energy Efficiency

The submitted energy statement demonstrates that the proposed dwelling would meet the energy efficiency target set out under SOLP Policy DES10. A verification statement will be required prior to occupation.



Residential amenity

Officers do not consider that the proposed structures would have an adverse impact upon the amenity of the neighbouring properties in terms of losses of daylight, sunlight or privacy.



Having regard to the existing stabling activities undertaken at the site, officers do not consider it likely that the proposal would result in material disturbances to the neighbouring properties. It is noted that the Council’s Environmental Protection Team raise no issues in terms of noise and other impacts associated with the running of the facility. They have requested conditions relating to construction activity, but officers consider that for this scale of development, these would not pass the conditions tests set out under the NPPF.  







Officers consider that the proposed development complies with the relevant Development Plan policies and national planning guidance. The principle of the use of the site for livery purposes as set out in the application submission is considered acceptable. Subject to the attached conditions, the development would not have an adverse impact upon the character and appearance of the area, the amenity of the neighbouring properties, highway safety or protected species. 






Grant Planning Permission


Summary of conditions:



1.    Commencement of development within 3 years

2.    Development to be implemented in accordance with the approved plans unless varied by other conditions of consent

3.    Schedule of external materials to be agreed

4.    Tree Protection details to be agreed

5.    The use of the groom’s accommodation hereby permitted shall be limited to a person solely or mainly employed in the equestrian use of the site

6.    The use of the equestrian facilities shall be restricted to the stabling of horses/ livery yard. No part of the property shall be used for riding lessons, competitions or other non-equestrian activities

7.    The balance of livery and DIY stabling to be retained as per the planning proposal (i.e. 7x full liveries and 3x DIY liveries).

8.    The parking and turning areas shall be provided in accordance with the approved site plan and retained unobstructed.

9.    Full surface water drainage details to be agreed

10. Surface water drainage condition, specific details of bund and filter drain to be agreed

11. Foul water drainage details to be agreed

12. Surface water management during construction phase – details to be agreed

13. SUDS compliance report to be submitted

14. External lighting details to be agreed

15. Implementation of biodiversity mitigation measures as approved

16. Biodiversity compensation measures - details to be agreed

17. Energy Statement Verification to be submitted

18. Withdrawal of P.D. rights (Part 1 Class A) - no extensions or alterations without planning permission








Author: Simon Kitson


Tel: 01235 422600