School site to be equestrian centre until needed for education

The former golf driving range at Felixstowe

The former golf driving range at Felixstowe - the site will be used for horses until it is needed for a new school - Credit: GOOGLE STREET VIEW

A former golf driving range earmarked as the site for a new school is to be used as an equestrian centre until it is needed.

The land at Cowpasture Farm in Gulpher Road, Felixstowe, has been granted consent to be used as stables, tack room/store and office/rest room, with the erection of agricultural store and construction of a manege.

The site has been identified for a new 630-pupil school with early years provision to serve the proposed 2,000-home North Felixstowe Garden Neighbourhood.

However, council officials say it will be some years before it is needed - and other potential school sites are also being explored.

The land was until a few years ago a golf driving range. Land alongside - previously used for horses - is now being built on with new homes.

Acorus Rural Property Services Ltd, for landowner Heather Stennett, said: "Part of the holding totalling 6.6 acres which benefits from planning permission for a new school has been retained by the applicant, Miss Stennett, until such time that work on the school is commenced which is not likely to be for several years.

"An option is held so Miss Stennett will sell the land when the option is exercised.

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"The land and building on the site was rented out and utilised as a golf driving range for many years before closing at the end of 2015.

"Some equestrian customers remain and they are currently occupying the retained land and have made use of part of the driving range and the retained land until such time as it is required for the school."

The old golf range building will be converted to create four stables - to be rotated between the horses grazing the land - and the other facilities.

East Suffolk planning case officer Phil Perkin said: "The location of the site for equestrian purposes is considered acceptable, and as the applicant is prepared to convert the building in the clear knowledge that the site has been identified for a school, it is considered appropriate to use the site until such time as it is required by the county council."

A master plan for the garden neighbourhood has still not been completed.

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