‘Nimby’ stance in plan row condemned

The battle over horse shows on a field near housing in Tickhill, Doncaster, is far from over, say the riders.

Residents living near the contested site have been accused of ‘nimbyism’ because of their opposition to the shows organised by the Maltby and District Riding Club.

Last week, Doncaster councillors refused permission for the field off Lancaster Crescent to be converted from agricultural to equine use.

They also rejected an application to site a relocateable building there as a scoring office and first aid post because it would look ‘industrial’.

Many residents of Lancaster Crescent had objected to the plans because of noise, parking problems and disturbance at weekend events.

But the Riding Club insists the impact on local residents is being blown out of proportion, with only five events held so far this year.

Chairman Louise Elliott said after the committee decision: “The riding club is run by a group of volunteers and suggestions that the site is to become commercialised is ridiculous and is yet another storm being whipped up by local residents in an attempt to discredit the club and the volunteers that run it.

“Previously two different planning officers have recommended the proposals for approval so it is surprising that the current planning officer has gone against the same policies under which their colleagues have previously worked with.”

Planning officer Donna Hunston told the committee that horseboxes were sometimes unloaded on Lancaster Crescent, with occasional encroaching onto front gardens.

Ms Elliott pointed out the club can still take advantage of planning conditions allowing them to use land for alternative purpose on 28 days a year, without any limitations.

“We will exercise this right to ensure that Maltby and District Riding Club continues to run the shows and events that are enjoyed by people across the borough.

“I’m sure that the planning department can now look forward to a drop in the barrage of constant complaints that are made by a small number of nimby residents. We will also be investigating other uses for the land outside of the 28 days.

Residents had complained about the smell of manure from the field and the noise of tannoy announcements during the shows.

Ms Elliott said the club operates on a minimal number of days per year and so the impact to local residents is “being blown out of proportion. There have only been five events so far in 2011 so do not infringe on every weekend.”