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Wattisfield: Horse riding school to put in revised home plan

06:00 04 February 2014

Suffolk horseriding school, Limes Equestrian, has been told to revise its development proposal

Suffolk horseriding school, Limes Equestrian, has been told to revise its development proposal

Stephen Bartholomew Photography

Owners of a horse riding centre which offers courses to youngsters have been told to improve proposals which seek to add to the existing development.

Plans for a two-storey home with an adjoining office and garage at Limes Equestrian in Wattisfield, near Bacton, were put to Mid Suffolk district councillors.

The owners want to build the house so they can be closer to their 12 horses if any are injured or sick.

But planners recommended the application for refusal as it was a development which would be “unsustainable” according to the council’s regulations as it would mean building a new home in a countryside location.

Ian Dobson, who runs the business, spoke at the planning meeting.

He said: “This would help us continue as a business and support the local economy. Living off-site is proving detrimental to our business; without on-site supervision we 
will continue to have on-site emergencies.”

He said it would help to be closer than the current five miles he lives away from the centre in Barningham so he could pick up on any unusual behaviour or noises which would mean a horse was unwell.

Derek Osbourne, councillor for the area, gave the application his support. He said the riding centre was teaching a lot of schoolchildren and that all-but-one parish councillors had also supported the plans.

Chairman of the planning committee, councillor Kathie Guthrie, who owns horses, said: “Living on-site is vital – I know how much vet costs are. We have six horses at the moment and you can hear them at night – you can sense when something is wrong.”

But she said it was “disappointing” the proposals did not include a business plan. There was an unanimous vote to defer the application to allow time for a financial and business plan to be worked up.

Jane Storey had proposed the application to be accepted but had no support.

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