Trust chairman to appeal Greenwich equestrian centre decision
AN objector to controversial plans for an equestrian skills centre in Greenwich says he will appeal a decision to give it the go ahead.
Making the decision in a packed committee room on last week, Greenwich Council’s planning board voted 5-2 in favour of the site on Shooters Hill.
The board heard 59 letters of objection had been received against the application and only two of support.
Speaking after the vote, Shooters Hill resident Julia Yardley said: “It is no surprise really. They had already made up their minds.
“It is disgusting they’re ignoring so many people’s views.”
Chairman of the Woodland’s Farm Trust Barry Gray spoke at the meeting and said: “This is Metropolitan Open Land (MOL) which means there should be exceptional circumstances to build on it, which I don’t believe is the case.
“The current owners of the site haven’t looked after it very well and the current owners are the London borough of Greenwich.”
Speaking in support of the development were councillors Denise Hyland and John Fahy as well as London 2012 organising committee's sport competition manager for equestrian events Tim Hadaway.
The centre, which will be run by Hadlow College in Tonbridge, will include facilities such as an outdoor all weather arena, stabling for 20 horses, a hay and straw barn and a 25 metre equine swimming pool.
Mr Gray said afterwards that claims made during the meeting that this would be the only riding facility in Greenwich and that it was essential to the Olympics were not borne out by the facts.
He said: “We’re going to appeal to the Secretary of State to call this in.”
Planning board chairman Councillor Ray Walker said: “This will be a place where local residents can gain skills, training and qualifications - opening up new employment opportunities. The aim is to create a facility that the community can access and enjoy.
“I know a lot of concerns have been expressed about this project and I want to assure people that these points have been thoroughly considered”