Horsey culture

The Dartmoor National Park Authority’s Dartmoor Ponies Factsheet states that “The ponies on Dartmoor are an integral part of the landscape and many visitors to the National Park come specifically to see these animals in their natural environment.”

That being the case, the Blog suggests that they should be recognised as a landscape feature, potentially of equivalent weight in the planning balance as any other landscape feature. An inspector who dismissed an appeal against the refusal of planning permission for a stable block at a farm in the national park does not seem to have seen things our way, however. (DCS Number 400-015-825).

In this case the inspector found that the stable block would not be well related to any other buildings but would appear as an isolated structure. It would therefore appear as an incongruous feature and harm the pastoral character of the land, she decided. She recognised that the appellant had sought to site the building as close to other buildings as the constraints of her land ownership allowed. She reasoned, however, that while it was the appellant’s wish to limit the built development and keep Dartmoor ponies, which are traditional and commonly seen in the landscape, planning permission goes with the land rather than the individual. As such the nature of the use could change over time. She concluded overall that the development would result in harm to the landscape and scenic beauty of the national park.

Do readers have any views on the extent to which the planning system ought to be involved in the support of native breeds?

The following DCP section is relevant: 23.23

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