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We have objected to a planning application for a manège at Sparkes Farm next to Ebernoe Common, three miles north of Petworth in West Sussex. The development comes hot on the heels of other planning applications at this site, for a stable complex and barn.
The application is in the South Downs National Park and we argue that the development is inappropriate in the national park, in this intimate and very special countryside, close to common land.
The development is adjacent to Ebernoe Common. This is extremely important, undisturbed and ancient land where the public has the right to walk. It is owned by the Sussex Wildlife Trust and is of immense nature-conservation value because of the peaceful habitats it provides.
Indeed, the application site is almost surrounded by the common and is visible from many parts of it. People exercising their rights to walk here would have to suffer this eyesore.
According to the planning application there is to be no floodlighting, but we fear that the applicants might use artificial lighting in the evenings and night, which would destroy the dark skies and disturb wildlife and the public. The development is also likely to generate additional traffic on the narrow lanes, putting walkers, riders and cyclists at risk.
So there are many reasons why we believe that the application should be rejected and we have called on Chichester District Council to do so.