Neighbour concerns over traffic and noise threaten expansion plans for horse riding centre

Proposals for new stable block facilities to support a North East horse riding centre have been lodged with council planning bosses.

By Chris Binding
Friday, 13th May 2022, 4:55 am

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Sunderland City Council the application application from Whitegates Equestrian Centre, in Durham, earlier this year.

The proposal is seeking permission to develop a site within the city’s Hetton ward, behind South Hetton Road.

If approved, the new plans would change the use of land from agricultural to equestrian, with a dormer bungalow and stable block built on the site, along with parking facilities and a new access arrangement with an internal one-way system.

A horse.

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Whitegates Equestrian Centre, which sits between Easington Lane and South Hetton, has been operational for a number of years and offers horse-riding lessons and other equine facilities.

A planning statement submitted to Sunderland City Council on behalf of the applicant sets out reasons for the Hetton development, including the formation of a new branch of the business.

The new branch to the equestrian centre would aim to “support the ongoing economic success of this existing business” and would include a 20-paddock stable block with an associated parking area offering 14 spaces.

The planning statement confirms that the new stable block would be used mainly for the purposes of “breeding and caring for stallions” and that the facility “must be located separately from the current livery.”

Applicants added the proposed dwelling would be required to ensure a member of staff is in close proximity to the animals for welfare, wellbeing and safety purposes.

During consultation on the plans so far, a number of objections have been submitted by neighbours in South Hetton Road.

Concerns include increased traffic, noise, disruption during building work, loss of privacy and other matters.

A planning statement prepared for the applicant notes the proposed development has been designed to ensure it will “respect the local character and setting”.

A decision on the scheme will be made once the Sunderland City Council consultation period closes, and subject to feedback from other stakeholders.

For more information on the planning application or to track its progress, visit the council’s online planning portal and search reference: 22/00621/FUL