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Wycombe District Council has again rejected a planning application for polo practice at Low Grounds Farm, near Marlow in Bucks. The proposed development would lead to interference with those seeking quiet recreation on the nearby Harleyford Lane.
Harleyford Properties Ltd’s application was for change of use of land from agricultural use to polo practice and would have resulted in heavy use of Harleyford Lane, a public right of way, by large horse-boxes. The lane runs from the A4155 Marlow to Henley road in a south-westerly direction, providing a connection to the Thames Path National Trail and other routes. Walkers, riders, cyclists and carriage-drivers have the right to use it.
The Open Spaces Society and Ramblers joined many local people in opposing the scheme. Wycombe District Council’s planning committee rejected the application against the advice of officers.
The ground for refusal was ‘By virtue of the nature, size and number of associated horse-box vehicle movements the proposal would be intimidating and detrimental to the convenience and public amenity enjoyed by walkers, cyclists and horse-riders passing and repassing along restricted byway no 35 Marlow parish, known as Harleyford Lane.
We are delighted that the councillors agreed with the objectors that the development would put lawful users of this lane at risk. It is an important route for many people; with its firm surface it is suitable for push-chairs and wheel-chairs as well as for walkers, riders, cyclists and carriage-drivers—but it is narrow. It would be unpleasant and dangerous for those people if they had to share the route with horse-boxes.
The route is an important link with the Thames Path National Trail, an internationally-popular path.’
The previous application for the site was also rejected but Harleyford Properties has appealed and there is to be an informal hearing at Wycombe District Council offices on 1 April.