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Property boss: Polo pitch protest campaign 'unjustified'
5:40pm Tuesday 10th January 2012
A PROPERTY boss says a campaign against plans for polo pitches on farm land is unjustified and he can not understand the 'animosity'.
Objections have flooded in about a proposal for two practice pitches on Low Grounds Farm, Harleyford Lane, Marlow.
The land is a popular spot for peaceful scenic walks, which protesters fear would be spoiled.
The application, to change the land use from agricultural purposes, includes using part of the farmyard for stationing vehicles delivering horses and for players' and trainers' cars.
This has raised concerns about increased traffic around the busy A4155 junction.
But Rob Marsh, Managing Director of Harleyford Properties, which owns the land, said if it were to be farmed intensively instead, as they are entitled to do, traffic would quadruple and the polo pitch plan pales in comparison.
Yet, signs have been stapled to the fences around the farm in protest, he said, while 43 objections have been lodged via the council's planning website.
“I don't understand why there has been so much animosity towards the application,” he told the Marlow Free Press.
“The pitches are purely for practice there wouldn't be people viewing matches, there won't be spectators.
“What I think they've failed to realise is that Low Grounds Farm is a working farm.
“Although it hasn't been intensively farmed recently if we chose to put 200 cattle down there we could.
“Then Harleyford Lane would be used for a lot more traffic, it could be choc-a-bloc 24/7 and much worse.”
He said it was 'utter madness' to suggest, as some have, that horse boxes with 16 animals would be coming in and labelled the campaign 'unjustified'.
The land stretches over 200 acres in total.
The polo pitches would be placed in a field of 100 acres, where crops are currently grown and some animals graze.
The field is flat and would not require any earth moving, he said.
Neil Spiers objected on the council's planning website, writing: “There are no pavements or pathways for pedestrians to use and such vehicles will pose increased danger to the safety of pedestrians and cyclists.
“There are insufficient passing places to accommodate an increase in general traffic usage of this road, let alone to accommodate the larger vehicles required for the proposed activity.”
Charlotte Mace wrote: “Children, families, runners, cyclists, the elderly all use this route to access the river.
“Rightly, it is viewed as a public bridleway with access to the few houses that require vehicular admittance.
“My mother runs down this lane every morning and I would worry now about her safety.
“There are blind corners and the high hedges mean it is hard to hear oncoming traffic.”
Wycombe District Council Leader Cllr Alex Collingwood, who represents Marlow, has asked the plans go before councillors if officials do not decide to refuse the application.
A decision is expected in March.