Equestrian centre plans for green-belt land set to fall at the first hurdle

PLANS: High House Farm Cottage, Newcastle Road, West Boldon.
PLANS: High House Farm Cottage, Newcastle Road, West Boldon.

A BID to build a new equestrian centre on green-belt land in South Tyneside looks destined to fall at the first hurdle.

South Tyneside Council’s planning committee is to consider an application for stables, a paddock, storage building and shop on land at High House Farm Cottage in Newcastle Road, West Boldon, at its meeting on Monday.

Committee members are being recommended to reject the plans over fears they would result in substantial harm to the green belt.

However, the cottage’s owner, Adrian Bonner, of Beacon Glade, South Shields, believes the bid is a special case the because he says the land is only low-grade green belt.

If the application is thrown out, Mr Bonner says he would consider appealing against the decision to the Planning Inspectorate.

He said: “It’s an application for a barn and a stable on a farm site, and South Tyneside Council is recommending refusal. I don’t really get the logic of that.

“The area has power lines over it. It’s not quality green-belt land. If it is refused, I’d have to consider whether to appeal. I’m not sure yet.”

As part of his case, Mr Bonner has also pointed out that the area is already earmarked for redevelopment in the shape of a proposed international advanced manufacturing park.

An objection to the application has been registered by the owner of nearby High House Farm over concerns it would lead to an increase in heavy-goods vehicles.

A report to the committee says: “The principal and fundamental question in this case is the potential harm to the green belt by way of inappropriateness.

“The additional harm identified is that there would be substantial harm to the openness of the green belt by the construction of new buildings on the site.

“This would totally undermine the fundamental green-belt policy to prevent urban sprawl by keeping land permanently open.

“As for the reference to the international advanced manufacturing park, at this stage the ultimate size and location of the potential site is unknown and will be dependent on a range of factors.”

Twitter: @shieldsgaz