CONTENTIOUS plans to lay polo pitches at the end of a quiet country lane in Marlow have been deferred by council chiefs.

Wycombe District Council’s Planning Committee deferred Harleyford Properties’ application to convert workshop units into stables and mark out two practise polo pitches at Low Grounds Farm in Harleyford Lane.

Officers were last night asked to investigate whether there are any alternative access routes to the sites or if there is any scope for installing additional and/or improved passing places along the narrow lane.

The item is expected to back before the planning committee next month.

The council has received 27 letters of objection to the proposals from residents which mainly centre on traffic movements to and from the site.

Kate Ashbrook general secretary of the Open Spaces Society, told the Free Press: “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.”

But Rob Marsh, MD of Harleyford Properties, has dismissed those fears.

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