Wednesday, 18 July 2018

Neighbour fears polo complex traffic disruption

A POLO complex could be built in Remenham.

A POLO complex could be built in Remenham.

Developer John Bateman, of Spink Property, wants to build the private polo facility, which would include a pitch, practice area, exercise track, stables and pavilion, in the grounds of Park Place.

The pitch will measure 275m by 145m with “safety zones” of 10m at either end and 5m on the sides. It would also include a natural slope to improve drainage.

The pitch would only be used for games during the summer season, which runs from April to September.

There will also be a 100m by 80m arena which can be used for polo matches in the winter and horse training in the summer.

The timber pavilion will house changing rooms and catering facilities, while the 500m practice track will be situated next to the pitch and have a sand or wood chip surface.

The stables will house up to 40 horses along with various feeding and washing rooms and staff facilities. They will be built alongside existing stables on the site.

The plans also include an 18,000-litre irrigation lake, which developers say could encourage the breeding of rare great crested newts.

Park Place is known as Britain’s most expensive home. Michael Spink sold the house and 40 per cent of the 500-acre estate on Remenham Hill for £140million in August 2011.

He had spent four years renovating and modernising the property, which is almost 300 years old and Grade II listed.  The land was previously used for farming and became a golf course in the Eighties.

Developers say the plans provide the “ideal opportunity” to restore the site and that the new development would be shielded by existing trees.

In a design statement, Mr Bateman said: “The reconfiguring of the field as a polo facility would help re-create the grand English country house grounds.

“The proposal would be an appropriate use for this open grassland in a country estate and would provide significant benefits both to the estate and to the residents of Park Place.”

Permission was previously granted in 2013 to build a country house on the land, which would have been known as Malmesbury House, but it was never completed.

Neighbour Neal Thomas has raised concerns over traffic on White Hill if lorries are travelling in and out of the site and says he witnessed several road accidents during previous building work. He added: “Building vehicles and, in the future, polo vehicles slowing down traffic and making the road busier will greatly add disruption to hundreds, probably thousands, of road users.”

Wokingham Borough Council will decide on the application next month.

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