Epworth equestrain school plans on hold

editorial image

PLANS to extend the operating hours of a riding school in Epworth have been put on hold by planners while concerns over access are resolved.

Bosses from North Lincolnshire Council are to explore the possibility of creating a new access to the school at Sykers Farm after more than 20 objections were lodged against the proposals.

Planning officers recommended the school be allowed to operate between 8am and 10pm Monday to Saturday and from 10am to 9pm on Sundays and bank holidays. Riders would also be allowed to leave the confines of the farm off Carrside.

But Epworth town councillor Graham Wilson said operators of the school, said access to the site was over footpaths, the use of which was restricted, and, in one instance, five people claimed ownership.

He said the entrance on to the road was dangerous, and there were no passing places on the lane.

But James Gale, agent for Sykers Farm, said a visit by members of North Lincolnshire’s planning committee should have proved there was no practical alternative access to the site, and that a right of access could be proved.

His client was also prepared to pay for re-surfacing of the road beyond the farm as well as to share the costs of warning signs on the road.

He added that the traffic generated by the school would not be sufficient to have an impact on residents living nearby, and sought to calm fears about inexperienced riders on the public road when he said that novices would be on horses led by people trained to do so.

Members were reminded that horse riders were allowed in law to go onto the public road.

Coun Nigel Sherwood suggested deferring the decision, saying that it would provide time for Sykers Farm and its neighbours to work towards finding a suitable alternative access to the farm for horses, with the aid of the council’s

environment team.

He said: “It would give interested parties a the opportunity to try to find a way to sort this out. It may not be possible, but then it might be, and we should give them that opportunity.”