A rider and retired hospital administrator has prevented planners from building a 17.6 acre business park across a route regularly used by horses.

Marion Pope, from North Poole in Dorset, noticed that within Canford Renewable Energy’s plans to build to the rear of her property, a track known as Wheelers Lane would be lost.

The road was not an official bridleway, but with the help of the British Horse Society (BHS), Miss Pope has secured official bridleway designation, stopping the route from being destroyed.

“This route to Canford Heath had been used as a public right of way for many years — it appears on an 1888 Ordnance Survey map,” she told H&H.

“However, in a letter dated 6 February 2013, Canford Renewable Energy wrote, ‘the proposed development would not have any impact on existing public bridleways and footpath access leading from Wheelers Lane’.

“This denial meant that once the planning application was made, and it was clear that the lane would be closed and built over, residents could only object to the proposal. If the Council had approved the application we would have had no right of appeal.”

Following several months of evidence gathering, public appeals and withdrawals, the council made the order to approve the objection.

Bridle Route 129 — Wheelers Lane is now entered onto the Definitive Map and Schedule under the 1981 Act.

BHS access officer for the area Jean Heaton said: “This is why I hope more people will contact their access officers if they are being prevented from riding somewhere that has historically been regularly used by horses. We have the training to make sure their applications are successful, and in 26 years I have made 44 successful applications.”

Ref: H&H 27 November 2014