Indoor riding arena plan in Calderdale rejected by councillor

Plans for an indoor riding arena have been rejected
Plans for an indoor riding arena have been rejected

A riding business’s bid to develop an indoor arena has been rejected.

Mr R. Pearson had asked Calderdale Council for permission to build a 40m x 20m indoor riding arena on land at Wilderness Farm, Gosport Lane, Outlane, Elland, in order to be able to improve the business.

But the council’s Planning Committee went with officers’ recommendations to refuse permission on grounds the development would not be in accordance with council planning policy, taking National Planning Policy Framework (NPPF) into account.

Officers argued it did not have sufficiently special circumstances to outweigh it being in green belt, and also had 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.

They believed the building would be harmed to a degree by the development when weighed against the public benefits of the proposal.

Residents objecting to the plans said they shared concerns about building on the green belt and also posed questions about highway concerns.

Mr Pearson had said an indoor arena was needed to move the business forward and compete with others in the area who can offer year-round riding.

He submitted to the committee that it was 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.

He told the meeting: “It is not an application to increase the volume but to increase the facilities that are already there.”

Mr Pearson further explained that part of the centre’s work was correcting horses that had problems and the indoor arena would enable work to be done all year.

But Coun Paul Bellenger (Lib Dem, Greetland and Stainland) said the council had to be sensitive about the message it would send out about building on green belt.

“I am all for busineses trying to improve but in this case because of the listed bulding in close proximity, I would have to go with officers’ recommendations,” he said.

Councillors agreed and the plans were rejected.