Calderdale horse riding business bids to improve services with indoor arena

Horse riders
Horse riders

A riding business wants to improve services for customers but planners are still recommending proposals for an indoor arena be refused.

Mr R. Pearson has submitted additional plans for an indoor riding arena on land at Wilderness Farm, Gosport Lane, Outlane, Elland, but planning officers do not feel they can support the proposals despite revisions to an earlier rejected application.

Their advice to calderdale Council’s Planning Committee, which will decide the application when it meets at Halifax Town Hall on Tuesday, September 24 (2pm), is that the development would not be in accordance with council planning policy, taking National Planning Policy Framework (NPPF) into account.

Officers argue it does not have sufficiently special circumstances to outweigh it being in green belt, and also have concerns about the arena’s potential impact on the historic environment – it would be 14 metres south of a laithe house at Wilderness Farm, a Grade II listed 19th century building which they believe would be harmed to a degree by the development when weighed against the public benefits of the proposal.

Mr Pearson says there is a need for an indoor arena to move the business forward and compete with others in the area who can offer year-round riding.

He also argues it is crucial to the fitness and wellbeing of horses to be able to exercise the animals the year round and allow necessary training for upcoming show seasons.

But offficers believe while the indoor riding arena would bring benefit by supporting an existing business within a rural area it would not create further jobs nor support the growth and expansion of the business, according to documents submitted to the committee with the application.

To 14 letters of objection and one of representation received over the original application more have been received, six from people who had not previously made representations.

These highlight concerns over highways, parking, green belt, infrastructure and impact on the natural environment issues.

Former Conservative councillor Chris Pearson supports the application saying “the application represents an improvement to the faciolities at an established outdoor recreation centre.”

But Coun Marilyn Greenwood (Lib Dem, Greetland and Stainland) shares residents’ concerns.