Friday, 03 December 2021

Dressage riding school approved

AN international dressage rider has been given the go-ahead to build a private riding school in the grounds of her home.

Anna Wilson, of Upper Bolney Road, Harpsden, was granted planning permission by South Oxfordshire District Council which said the development would not significantly harm views of the Chilterns Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty.

Mrs Wilson says she needs the centre, which will be 6.25m high and measure 64m by 21m, to further her career as it will meet Olympic standards and will have a viewing gallery and large mirror to check her form.

Several neighbours objected, saying it would clash with the rural surroundings due to its “industrial” scale and their narrow street would be damaged by heavy goods lorries during construction.

The council agreed it would be “undoubtedly significant in scale” for a private facility but accepted Mrs Wilson's case that it was needed to allow her to compete at the highest level.

They said views of the site from surrounding roads and footpaths were limited and the site was well screened, although more trees or hedges should be planted to make up for the handful which will be removed.

The neighbours said the school would be visible from their properties but the council said this wasn't a planning consideration as there would be no noise disturbance or overlooking. It imposed a condition banning commercial use.

Harpsden Parish Council raised no objections as long as the school remained private and there were also six letters of support.

Mrs Wilson, who lives with her husband Richard, has previously built a stable, horse walker and storage shed on the site.

She began competing nationally in 2006 and made her international debut for Poland, of which she is also a citizen, in 2017.

She currently takes her horses to hired indoor training facilities and says the school will reduce vehicle trips to and from the site, reducing air pollution and noise in her road.

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