Dismay over lorries and polo pitch plan

Bucks Free Press: Dismay over lorries and polo pitch plan Dismay over lorries and polo pitch plan

DISMAYED residents face a second battle to stop a plan for new polo pitches which they claim will endanger walkers.

Campaigners say the extra lorry movements at Low Grounds Farm, Harleyford Lane, will blight the area.

But developers say that if they were to intensively farm the land, for which planning permission is already granted, traffic would be far worse. Landowner Harleyford Properties withdrew its previous proposal after vociferous opposition from campaigners in 2012.

Concerns centred on dangers posed by large vehicles using the busy A4155 junction and the narrow Harleyford Lane.

Developers anticipate an average of around 52 movements per week, involving horses transported on various sized lorries.

But this would not be daily and only from May to August.

Developers insist they have rigorously examined the traffic and transport aspects of the proposal, with support from highways officials.

So far 33 objections have been lodged on the council's planning portal, with residents saying the busy A4155 junction is already treacherous.

Sue Topping, of Harwood Road, Marlow, said: "This would be an entirely inappropriate use of the lane and would put any pedestrians on this route completely at risk."

Elizabeth Wilkinson, of Claremont Road, Marlow, said: "It would totally destroy the area to have constant polo traffic and its attendant noise and disruption, completely wiping out the natural environment. The point of entry is especially dangerous on that stretch of busy road."

Richard Rees-Davies, 45, a marketing director of Harleyford Lane, said: "The safety of children, walkers, joggers, mums with buggies and cyclists is the prime concern of local residents. It's the anxiety of having large HGV vehicles trying to squeeze past them."

However, he said, most objectors are not against polo pitches per se.

Katherine Pedder, of Nursery Walk, Marlow, said the plan would make it impossible for her young family to use the pathway.

"It is already the case that I feel vulnerable and intimidated by the traffic along this road when walking to and from Marlow High Street with my baby in his buggy," she said.

Rob Marsh, Managing Director of Harleyford Properties, which owns the land, said: "I think what everyone has failed to realise is the fact that we operate a commercial farm. We could put a 200 strong dairy herd down there and could be having milk and slurry lorries going down there every day.

"People see a footpath that is unencumbered and think that's how it always been but we run a commercial operation and if I wanted to intensively farm I could because we've already got planning permission."

The planning agent estimates nearly 1,900 yearly vehicle movements from an agricultural use compared to 832 for polo.

Mr Marsh labelled arguments about extra traffic through Marlow as 'nonsensical'.

The two pitches would be used for training only and not therefore attract large match day crowds.

The consultation period for the application ends on January 11.

Visit www.publicaccess.wycombe.gov.uk and search reference 12/07774/FUL

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