- By Hannah Brown & Mariam Issimdar
- Local Democracy Reporting Service and BBC News, Cambridgeshire
The owners of an equestrian centre have had an appeal to turn their premises into housing refused.
A planning inspector said converting Northbrook Equestrian Centre near Offord Cluny, Cambridgeshire, into housing would “urbanise” a rural area.
The original application to Huntingdonshire District Council for 28 new homes was proposed by the owners, who are planning to retire.
The centre runs riding lessons for people with disabilities.
The owners lodged an appeal with The Planning Inspectorate after the district council failed to make a decision on the plans within the prescribed period of time.
The proposals for the New Road site said 40% of the houses would be made available as affordable housing.
But the planning inspector decided to dismiss the appeal, stating the equestrian centre was in an “inappropriate location” for the proposed redevelopment.
The inspector said they had concerns about the number of people who could end up living in the proposed development.
“The existing road does not feature separate environments for pedestrians or cyclists,” they said.
‘Erosion of the rural character’
“In addition, the proposed development does not feature street lighting.”
The planning inspector also said they believed the development would have an “urbanising effect” on the area.
“This causes a concern given that the appeal site is located in an area surrounded by fields.
“Therefore, the creation of a more domestic form of development would result in an erosion of the rural character.
“This would render the proposal an incongruous addition to the locality.”
The owners of the equestrian centre have been asked to comment.