Horsey activities are fine in the right place, but our Chiltern valley has got enough. That’s why I was delighted when Wycombe District Councillors overturned their officer’s recommendation and refused an application for stables, manège and associated works at Pheasants Hill, near the picturesque village of Hambleden.
The development was proposed in the Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty, in a field next to the Chiltern Way recreation path. It would be visible from many paths across the valley. There was the fear of a knock-on effect, with fencing to contain the additional horses being erected in the field containing the path. This would destroy the lovely open nature of the route across grassland which, in summer, is spangled with orchids and other wild flowers.
The councillors, by four votes to two, refused the application because the scale of the building and resulting excavation and the appearance of the manège would have a detrimental impact on the special character and natural beauty of the Chilterns AONB. Councillor Jean Teesdale in particular spoke strongly and effectively against the development.
We weren’t so fortunate at Fingest where consent has been granted for a four-bay stable block with tack room and hay store and use of the adjoining field for equestrian activities.
This spot too is highly visible from the Chiltern Way, and especially lovely in May.
But currently it is two to one: readers of this blog will recall that the hippopolis at Skirmett was rejected in December 2012.
Let’s hope that’s the end of these applications, but somehow I suspect there’ll be more.
Excellent news Kate, well done.