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Hunnington villagers up in arms against new horse riding centre
9:00am Thursday 6th March 2014 in Local
PLANS to build an equestrian centre on greenbelt land in Hunnington have led to a storm of protests from villagers.
About 50 people packed into the parish hall on Monday night to voice their opposition to the plan for a stable block and floodlit ménage on land in Bromsgrove Road.
Residents fear the development will create traffic hazards as the access is on a blind bend and will create noise and light pollution.
Protester Clare Harris said they were also “up in arms” over plans to landfill waste on the site where residents claim owner Richard Macingtosh has dug a large hole.
The mother-of-two she said there had been many complaints to Bromsgrove District Council about the hole and tree felling on the site, which, it is claimed, has displaced wildlife, including badgers.
She said: “Our fear is that the council will approve this plan to stop the complaints about what he has already done to this land, which is greenbelt.”
Mrs Harris, of Bromsgrove Road, said she also feared for the safety of her children, aged four and eight, and other pedestrians from construction vehicles, horse boxes and other additional traffic that would use the equestrian centre.
The council has received 14 letters of objections from nearby residents who believe the greenbelt land should be protected from development.
Hunnington Parish Council is also vehemently against the plan.
In a statement to the district council it said: “The sheer size of the application in a residential area is totally out of character and obviously for business purposes.”
The equestrian centre would include eight stables, toilets, feed, tack and staff rooms. It would open until 9pm seven days a week.
A planning statement by Mr Macingtosh’s agent AEC Architectural and Engineering Consultants, of Shropshire, said 10 parking spaces had been agreed with planners as a “sensible number” to avoid parking on the road.
The company said there was already security lighting at the adjacent Solus factory and denied the ménage lighting would increase the light spill.
The statement claimed the large pit had been uncovered when overgrown grass and bushes had been cleared.
A council spokesman said: “We would encourage anybody to submit views to the planning department and all views will be considered before a decision is made.”
The planning committee is expected to consider the application in April.
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