An equestrian centre for Shooters Hill

Secretary of Kidbrooke with Hornfair Conservatives, Toni Hale, writes:


“At the end of last year there was a campaign to try and prevent the planning proposal of the new equestrian centre to be built at 341 Shooters Hill - not because it was thought that this was not a good idea, but because the site seemed an inappropriate place to have it. I believe that the fact that this build will be on Metropolitan Open Land (MOP) is a travesty, however because it will be a sporting facility, regulations state that this type of build can be constructed.


The site lies between the Woodlands Farm Trust and the Thompsons Nursery - quite a secluded place that could actually be missed when driving pass. A grade two listed property sits on the site and it is surrounded by fields and wooded areas.


Also on the site are Lenny’s donkeys - he has been renting the land for approximately 30 years and has had donkey rides on Blackheath Common, outside the main entrance to Greenwich Park for 64 years. Greenwich Council are trying to find a sufficient site for Lenny to relocate to.


In October 2011 the case was taken to the planning board and it was voted 5/2 to allow planning to go ahead. There were several letters sent to object to the planning application and two petitions were handed in one with 560 signatures and one with 178 signatures run by the Woodland Farm Trust. Eight people spoke in objection on the night of the planning board meeting back in October however, the planning proposal was approved.


The planning proposal will extend the bridle way in Oxleas Wood so that experienced riders from Hadlow College can ride in the woods. This will mean the general public who use the woodlands on a regular basis will have to give way to Horses and will need to keep dogs on a lead.


There is to be a Pegasus crossing across Shooters Hill so that horses can cross the road safely.


The campaign continued to carry out its objections to the Mayor of London, Boris Johnson who, with his team carried out a lengthy report to maintain the applicants were following the guidelines of the Mayor’s London Plan. A few adjustments were made by the applicant and the Mayor agreed the plan could go ahead. The campaign continued and wrote to the Secretary of State who reported that there were no grounds for a Public Inquiry.


So the saga continues, whereby Greenwich Council are intending to spend £3.1m on the venture at the site at 341 Shooters Hill. Hadlow College are to have full control and run the educational centre which will also house a very large veterinary centre on the site. Students are planned to start for the year 2012/13 and will be of 16+. However, though this Olympic Legacy is meant to benefit many for years to come it is not evident of how, when only a few hours per week are for public use; especially when there are 222,000 people living in the borough. With such a financial burden on the taxpayer we will not know for sure how this will accumulate revenue that will be well spent in the borough until many years in the future.


However, in the mean time we can make sure the planning proposal is followed to the letter.”


If you require any further information please contact Kidbrooke and Hornfair Conservatives at or 07841 515463