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County Durham horse arena can stay open despite light pollution and noise concerns

Despite concerns over the impact on nearby historical sites and light pollution, an outdoor horse arena will continue to operate.

Anthony Lewis, the applicant, opened the site at Crossgate Moor, Durham, in 2022 and sought retrospective planning permission to keep the facility, which includes fencing and floodlights. The arena is for personal use only and is not open to the public.

Critics argued that the floodlights would be an eyesore, exercising horses at night time is unnecessary, and the noise from the site would be disruptive.

Marion Wilson, a county councillor of Deerness ward, voiced her concerns at a Durham County Council planning meeting: “The arena sits on the top of the hill and the light pollution will carry well into the village of Bearpark. There will also be a great impact on wildlife in the vicinity.Residents also raised concerns over its impact on the historic Beaurepaire site. The medieval manor house is close to the site of the Battle of Neville’s Cross, which cllr Wilson said would be “.

Residents also expressed worries about its impact on the historic Beaurepaire site. The medieval manor house is close to the site of the Battle of Neville’s Cross, which Councillor Wilson said would be “lit like a beacon” and encourage anti-social behaviour.

“This application is for the benefit of two people to the detriment of residents of Bearpark and other surrounding areas,” added Councillor Wilson.

During Tuesday’s meeting, Dr Mohammed AlHilali expressed his concerns about the preservation of local green spaces. He emphasised, “It’s key for me to object to this not just for the impact on nature and wildlife, but for the community that surrounds us and for people to enjoy it rather than the privileged few that get to ride horses through the night.”

However, the applicant, Mr Lewis, downplayed the potential effects. His statement assured, “There will be limited and localised impact on the landscape character and general appearance of the area. However, this will be for short periods, and for only a small proportion of the year because of the lighting.”

The council’s planning department had recommended approval of the application, a stance supported by Cllr Kevin Shaw. He stated, “I feel for the residents on this, but looking at the application, I don’t think there are any grounds to object.”

View news Source: https://www.chroniclelive.co.uk/news/north-east-news/county-durham-horse-arena-can-29172490

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