Do I need development approval to keep horses?

Yes. Generally the only time development approval is not required is for lots zoned ‘Rural’ where no works are proposed.  This is a relatively limited circumstance however.

The Shire’s Town Planning Scheme No.2 (TPS2) lists the following zones where the keeping of horses can generally be considered through the development application process:

  • ‘Special Rural’;
  • ‘Rural Living A’ (exceptions apply);
  • ‘Rural Living B’ (some conditions apply e.g. lots 1ha and above);
  • ‘Farmlet’ (some conditions apply e.g. maximum of 2 horses);
  • ‘Rural Groundwater Protection’;
  • ‘Special Residential’ (except Chestnuts Estate) (conditions apply);
  • ‘Special Use’ (Particular lots on Old Dairy Court only); and
  • ‘Urban Development’.

Please note there are some areas within these zones where the keeping of horses is prohibited.

What is required as part of a development application?

development application should include the following:

  • A Development Application Form;
  • A copy of the Certificate of Title;
  • A Site Plan;
  • Elevations of any proposed buildings/structures; and
  • An Equine Management Plan, that should address the following:
    • Number and size of stock;
    • Stabling and paddock regime including irrigation;
    • Protection of existing vegetation and any proposed re-vegetation;
    • Management of drains, waterways and wetlands; and
    • Management of waste and dust.

How many horses can I have?

The number of horses allowed is based on the Department of Primary Industries and Regional Development Stocking Rate Guidelines for Rural Small Holdings.

The Stocking Rate Guidelines provide a method and information for determining the base stocking rate most suited to particular soil-landscapes in ‘rural residential’ areas.

Stocking rates are the numbers of stock, e.g. sheep, cattle, horses, emus or any other type of animal that can consistently be kept on a piece of pasture all year round with minor additional feed and without causing environmental degradation.

How does it work? Officers calculate the stocking rate by considering the following factors:

  • Natural features on the property;
  • Soil type;
  • Pasture management;
  • Size, setbacks of pastures; and
  • Type of livestock. 

If you would like to lodge an application, please complete a development application for development approval.

For further information, please contact Planning Services on 9526 1111 or by email

Please download a copy of the Shire’s educational guidelines as they relate to the keeping of horses here.