OFFICIAL bodies from across Marlow have added their voices to the debate raging over plans to build polo pitches at the end of a quiet country lane.

Last month the MFP reported a fresh application from Harleyford Properties to build the practise pitches at Low Grounds Farm, after its previous plans were rejected by Wycombe District Council in August.

Fears centred on the amount of traffic the polo centre would create on the narrow Harleyford Lane.

And now official groups and organisations from across the area have voiced their opinion, with most opposed to the plans.

The Marlow Society, which devotes its efforts to the preservation and development of Marlow, claim pedestrians and riders have right of way under the Countryside and Rights of Way Act of 2000.

In its official objection to Wycombe District Council, society member Martin Blunkell insists "common sense should prevail" and the application be refused.

Marlow Town Council has issued a "neutral" response to the plans in its official response. George Clarke, speaking on behalf of the planning committee, said the council accepts the traffic movements would be reduced from the previous application.

He added: "However concerns still remain over the proposed access, in particular safety at the junction between Harleyford Lane and the A4155. The lane is narrow and very popular with walkers and cyclists during the summer, when the facility would be operational.

"The horses would still need to be transported for matches and it is felt the applicants’ new estimation of four heavy vehicle movements per week may be unrealistically low."

Dawn Segrue, representing Marlow Striders running club, which has over 100 members, said: "We regularly run and walk in this area.We are pleased to note that some of the objections we have previously raised have been addressed by the applicant.

"However, our main concern around the viability of pedestrians and vehicles on Harleyford lane still remains."

Rob Marsh, MD of Harleyford Properties, has dismissed the fears, claiming the new application addresses previous traffic concerns.

He has described the plans as a "win-win" situation for the farm and lane users, insisting if he may otherwise be forced to introduce a more traffic-intensive farming operation on the site.

Former WDC leader Cllr Alex Collingwood, who represents Marlow North and West, has called for the proposal to be discussed in front of the planning committee, adding he intends to speak on the application.

A ruling on the application is set to be made in February, with an appeal over the rejected plans also underway.