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Marlow residents resume fight against polo pitch traffic
RESIDENTS and societies opposed to a polo pitch being built at the end of a quiet Marlow country lane have renewed their fight as fresh plans emerged for the site.
In August, Harleyford Properties was refused permission to build the practise pitches at Low Grounds Farm after fears were raised about the amount of traffic it would create on the narrow Harleyford Lane.
Following a new application submitted to Wycombe District Council last month, groups and organisations have clubbed together to protect the public route used by walkers, runners and horse riders.
Kate Ashbrook general secretary of the Open Spaces Society, Britain's oldest national conservation body, said: “'We cannot see how the land can be used for polo practice without putting the public at risk on the narrow Harleyford Lane.
"It is a popular route for walkers, riders, cyclists, runners and people with baby-buggies and wheelchairs.
“The route is totally unsuitable for horse-boxes. It is narrow with no verges, there are hedges on both sides and a lot of bends which restrict visibility. Public safety and enjoyment must not be sacrificed for this commercial enterprise.”
Last time, concerns centred on dangers posed by large vehicles using the busy A4155 junction and the narrow Harleyford Lane.
The new plans include turning farm buildings into stables so horses can be kept at the farm, which developers say will mean fewer journeys along the narrow lane.
Polo pitches would be used solely for training and practise matches, and only during the summer months.
The applicants’ traffic survey insists by closing working farm facilities to make way for horses, fewer HGVs will use the lane.
But Harleyford Lane resident Richard Rees-Davies, 48, who walks his dog there, believes the survey is flawed and does not take into account the busy summer period.
He also believes alternative access should be made through the Harleyford Estate.
Rob Marsh, MD of Harleyford Properties, said alternative access was not possible as the estate is under seprate ownership.
He said: “We have addressed a lot of the concerns from the general public. The horses will be kept in the yard and the grooms will also be based there.
“I think fundamentally what everyone has forgotten is that we could have a 200-herd of cattle or 100 pigs down there with huge lorries and tankers coming in and out.
“As far as this application goes it is a win win situation for walkers and the future of the farm. And if it isn’t successful I won’t have any alternative but to have a dairy farm or salad crops which is more instensive and requires far more traffic.”
So far, over 25 objections have been made to Wycombe District Council from residents and groups opposed to the plans.
As well as the fresh application, an appeal over the initial rejected proposal has also been lodged.
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