Sunday, 15 December 2019

‘Awful’ dressage training mirrors plan amended

‘Awful’ dressage training mirrors plan amended

A COUPLE’S plan to install a huge wall of mirrors to help their daughter train in dressage have been amended after objections by neighbours.

Adam and Susie McConkey have applied for planning permission for the training aids in the riding arena at their home in Orchard Close, Britwell Salome. Their 17-year-old daughter Jessica, a pupil at Shiplake College, is a dressage rider with the GB junior team.

The mirrors would be 20m (65ft 6in) long and up to 2.6m (8ft 5in) high but the couple say the visual impact would be reduced by extra tree planting behind them.

But other residents called the mirrors “awful” and said they would be out of character with the rural area and would cause light pollution. They also objected to the couple’s plans to replace an existing entrance gate with an electric sliding one.

Now the McConkeys have suggested further landscaping, including a woven fence to screen the back of the mirrors, and to hide the access behind a beech hedge.

Their planning application says: “Equestrian training mirrors are an essential part of the training process as the rider needs to see how a horse is performing as commands are given.

“The proposed mirrors would be positioned at the western end of the riding arena as this end is already cut approximately 1m  below ground. The maximum height of the mirrors would be 2.6m above the finished riding surface level, therefore visible mirror structure would be dramatically reduced.”

Watlington Parish Council has objected, saying the amendments do not address the concerns about the “detrimental” impact of the mirrors on the Chilterns Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty. It suggested having a cover and a roof for the mirrors for when they were not in use.

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