The plans have proved controversial
Controversy has broken out in a Lincolnshire village after plans were submitted for a polo arena.
Leadenham Polo Club has asked for permission to build an all-weather pitch along with associated facilities at North Hilltop Farmhouse, in The Heath.
This would include converting some farm buildings in stables, putting up new fencing, lighting and the creation of a new car park.
The plans have sparked controversy in the village with more than 130 people writing to North Kesteven District Council (NKDC) to give their views.
A total of 88 people have written to the council in objection to the plans, while 51 people wrote in support of them.
Despite the controversy, planning officers at NKDC have recommended the plans be given permission when the planning committee meets on Tuesday, June 9th.
In a design and access statement submitted to NKDC, Leadenham Polo Club said the plans are key to allowing the sport to become accessible to people all year round.
They said an all-weather pitch would allow it teach students throughout the winter months on a pitch that is much better suited to polo than would otherwise be available at that time of year.
They added that the new pitch would be helpful when teaching children with disabilities to ride ponies.
Plans for what the site could look like (Image: North Kesteven District Council)
“A ten acre grass field such as a polo field is not the best environment to introduce and coach people who may have physical limitations and might need the contained area that an arena offers as well as the reassurance of definite barriers and a reliably soft surface,” they wrote.
They added that the work would bring parts of the property that had become neglected back into use, while the free draining nature of the area means it is less likely to become waterlogged.
They said the horses would also be able to let out to into the pasture in an effort to maintain their physical and mental wellbeing.
The statement also says the lighting from the all-weather pitch will be installed to minimise the impact, although it will be visible from two residential properties nearby.
Objectors say the plans will lead to light pollution and will disrupt the rural character of the area, while also raising concerns about impact it will have on highway safety and the welfare of the horses.
Objecting alongside residents is Leadenham Parish Council which said it has concerns about “inadequate car parking”, where horse manure will be deposited and the visual impact of the floodlights.
Meanwhile, the council’s conservation officer has objected saying they are concerned “it will not be possible to physically implement the new use without it being necessary to make considerable alterations to this buildings”, which are a non-designated heritage asset.
Meanwhile supporters say the plans will benefit the local economy and promote tourism in the area, while also creating new five new full time jobs.
You can view the full plans at the NKDC planning portal under the reference 19/1764/FUL.
*The view of the site from Leadenham hillside (Image: North Kesteven District Council)