Equestrian site bidding to host competitions

Alnwick Ford Equestrian wants to be able to hold competitions at its indoor and outdoor arenas. Picture by Jane Coltman
Alnwick Ford Equestrian wants to be able to hold competitions at its indoor and outdoor arenas. Picture by Jane Coltman

An equestrian centre in north Northumberland looks set to get the green light to host events and competitions, both indoors and outdoors.

The planning application, by Alnwick Ford Equestrian Centre, near Longframlington, is recommended for approval at next Tuesday’s meeting of Northumberland County Council’s strategic planning committee.

The owners want to change the use of the current facilities to allow for the holding of around 12 competitions and about 156 events/demonstrations annually, both within the existing indoor arena and externally within the outdoor ménage and cross-country circuit.

Longframlington Parish Council has objected to the scheme due to concerns about highways , relating to both the state of the access road to Alnwick Ford Farm and safety fears due to the acute turn-off from the A697. The scheme was called in by Coun Trevor Thorne. No concerns were lodged by the county council’s highways officers.

The application has also been backed by five letters of support, which highlight the benefit to the equestrian community and the further employment opportunities to local people.

The alterations are needed as the previous permission for this site carried forward an existing condition from a previous operator’s application to exclude events and competitions, but the relevance of this condition was not fully understood by the current operators.

The proposals are considered to result in an acceptable form of development that would not have any adverse impact upon the character and appearance of the wider area and landscape and would provide a community facility and encourage tourism.