The Mendip Farmers hunt have abandoned plans for a new kennels for a second time in the face of fierce local opposition.

“While we’ve been overwhelmed by the generosity of landowners, none of us foresaw the resistance to hunt kennels,” said chairman Alastair Martin.

The hunt have been looking for a permanent site since 2004 on which to build kennels and a flesh house.

They had to abandon plans for their first potential site, Underbarrow Farm, Priddy, in 2008 due to resistance from the protest group Campaign Against Noise Intruding Nature’s Environment.

The group claimed 87% of villagers were against plans.

A second site was identified in Splott, near Chewton Mendip, and the hunt applied for planning consent in March 2010.

But a second protest group, Stop Chewton Kennels, fought and the hunt withdrew their application on 22 December.

“Neighbours were worried about noise and odour,” said Mr Martin. “We also wanted to preserve our relationship with Lord Waldegrave, whose estate borders the site on three sides.”

Tim Bonner, from the Hunting Office, said he believed this was an isolated issue.

“We’re not seeing this [local protest] replicated on a national scale,” he said.

Since August, the hunt have had a temporary arrangement at Mountain Ash, Priddy. “We have no certainty long-term, but have applied for planning consent for change of use for facilities,” Mr Martin said.

This news story was first published in the current issue of Horse & Hound (20 January, 2011)