A popular Midlands competition and training centre has confirmed it is “business as usual” despite plans for housing on the site.

An application to demolish buildings and build 14 houses at Milton Keynes Eventing Centre (MKEC) has been submitted to the local council.

However, the owners were quick to reassure riders that this will not be the end of the equestrian centre.

Owner Fiona Gifkins told H&H the plans are at a very early stage and that they expect to relocate the arenas while the cross-country course will not be affected.

“We are still open and plan to stay open,” she said.

“We have just done a lot of work on the cross-country course and that and the camps are our main business.

“It [the course] has had far too much investment [for us to close it] and there is nothing else like it in the area.”

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She added that if the development does go ahead, they will put in a new entrance and stressed that the plans are very much “pie in the sky” at the moment.

The application was received by Milton Keynes District Council on 30 May and a decision is expected by 29 August.

MKEC hosts numerous training camps and clinics throughout the year and is a popular cross-country schooling venue.

It previously hosted affiliated British Eventing competitions at BE90 to novice level — with the last of these held in 2014 — and unaffiliated three-day-events.

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