Buckinghamshire’s Quainton Stud will be allowed to continue holding shows, despite what owner Emma Phillips described as a neighbour’s “one-man crusade”.
Local resident and councillor David Vick had been regularly emailing Aylesbury Vale District Council about alleged breaches of planning regulations. He had set a diary reminder to query progress every five days.
“In 2008, planning enforcement told the owners not to expand their activities beyond the current small scale,” said Mr Vick. “Since then, each event appears to have become more successful, but without the relevant planning permissions.”
Inspectors told Emma and husband Mike they would need retrospective planning permission to run events — granted on Thursday, 11 April — after investigating the complaints.
“It was ridiculous,” said Emma, who bought the centre in 2005. “He claimed that our ‘equestrian centre paraphernalia’, such as coloured showjumps, was blighting the countryside.”
Almost 900 people signed a petition supporting the venue and showjumper Ben Maher spoke out about the stud’s involvement in his career. Emma shares ownership of Ben’s Olympic gold medal-winner Tripple X III.
An established British Showjumping venue, Quainton Stud has this month been approved to run British Dressage (BD) fixtures. It also ran a Spring Horizons showing show on 1 April.
“We are delighted to bring Quainton Stud on board, with their excellent facilities,” said Amanda Bond of BD.
Mr Vick told H&H he was “delighted that the stud now has planning permission”.
“We want all local businesses to succeed,” he said. “But everyone has to play by the same rules.”
This news story was first published in Horse & Hound magazine (25 April 2013)