Equestrian safety fears block quarry restoration

Concerns over the safety of horses and riders have led to refusals of plans to restore a former quarry in the Leicestershire countryside to agricultural use.

The proposal involved transporting inert waste and soils to the site by lorry. An equestrian centre at a farm close to the quarry stabled highly strung horses. The inspector found that the poorly surfaced narrow single-track access lane to the site carried very little traffic and was mainly used by pedestrians, horse riders and cyclists to reach nearby public footpaths. In her view, 50 lorry movements per weekday over a four-year period would substantially alter the nature and character of the lane and its surroundings.

Taking into account British Horse Society comments on the potential for injuries to horses and safety concerns, the inspector concluded that the size of lorries and frequency of traffic would conflict with other users of the lane and make the access unsafe, contrary to the requirement of minerals and waste local plan policy. She also found details of a proposed acoustic fence outside the equestrian centre insufficient to demonstrate that lorry noise effects on occupiers and horses kept there would be sufficiently mitigated.

Inspector: Rebecca Norman; Written representations

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