The essential journalist news source
Equestrian centre in Green Belt clears final planning hurdle

A close up of a logoDescription automatically generated


26 September 2019


Equestrian centre in Green Belt clears final planning hurdle


Plans for a purpose-built equestrian centre in Bushey, Hertfordshire, have cleared their final hurdle after being granted planning permission from Hertsmere Borough Council.

Having demonstrated the need for the centre, the combined efforts of planners at DHA in Maidstone and Nortoft Partnerships in Northampton secured this highly significant permission for the £2mredevelopment of the Caldecote Livery for its owners: show jumper Edward Brook and dressage rider Mandy Day.

Despite the site being located in the Green Belt, and including a large indoor riding arena, the planning consultants successfully argued the proposals presented ‘very special circumstances' to overcome Green Belt policy restrictions.

The council accepted that it will provide a much-needed training centre and livery to the standard and size required by the British Equestrian Federation (BEF) for Olympic and Paralympic riders and for riders from across the region.

The main building, which is 3,262m2in size, has been designed to sit at the bottom of the slope that leads towards the M1 motorway and below the horizon level to diminish its visual impact.

Work on building 33 livery stables, a double-height 60m x 25m indoor training arena, alongside a club room, lecture and training room can now get under way.

The plans also include ancillary storage and overnight staff accommodation, with external areas for horse walking, show jumping and dressage training, and 31 car parking spaces. The open-air training area will be 80m x 65m in size with a specialist all-weather surface.

Matthew Blythin, Director at DHA, which has offices in Maidstone and Crawley, said: "With significant local and regional demand, but with the current centre closed and no longer fit for purpose, the owner's business plan, prepared by Nortoft,  made a compelling argument to support the planning case. 

"Permission was granted after we were able to prove that the need existed, thanks to the specialist Equestrian Needs Assessment also produced by Nortoft, and we could therefore meet the exceptional circumstances required for new development in the Green Belt.

"The 8-acres allocated to the equestrian centre will also help create local jobs and support a number of rural businesses."

Edward Brook, the owner of Caldecote Livery, said: "Having been in the equestrian business all my life and having leased the existing site for many years, I negotiated the purchase of 50 acres of farmland from the owners so I could bring forward these exciting plans for a state-of-the-art centre.

"We received letters of support from Sport England, the BEF, as well as Olympic, Paralympic and World Championship medal winnersand keen amateurs, plus the support of the local Councillor and many of our neighbours. Everybody recognised there was the potential to create something special here that could support local horse riders as well as national and international champions.

 "A big thank you must also go to the team at DHA who led on the application, alongside Nortoft Partnerships and our architects Harrison Mutch, and we hope the new centre will be open for business in two years from when work begins."

A spokesperson for BEF added:"The BEF is pleased to have played an important part in this site gaining planning permission by being able to demonstrate wide ranging support for this proposal through collaborative working with our member bodies."


For further information please contact:

Andrew Metcalf, Maxim

Tel:01892 513033