Rock star Kenney Jones has finalised his proposals to revamp Hurtwood Polo Club in Surrey and turn it into a major equestrian venue.
The former drummer for the Small Faces and The Who has submitted plans to Waverley Borough Council to build an all-weather arena for polo, showjumping and dressage, stabling for 78 horses with grooms’ accommodation and 14 country homes.
The project also includes plans for a 74-bedroom hotel and luxury spa and conference facilities attached to the existing club house which will aim to include a Michelin-star restaurant.
Equestrian bodies — including the Federation of International Polo, the British Equestrian Federation, the Hurlingham Polo Association and the Pony Club — have welcomed the new development.
Mr Jones said: “It’s great to receive such strong support from the polo and equestrian communities, who have recognised the exciting opportunity that the expanded facilities at Hurtwood can provide to the UK.
“We have also been overwhelmed by the support shown by the community in Ewhurst, having received over 100 letters of support.”
However, some locals are less impressed with the idea of such a major development in the area.
“I am very concerned that it would destroy the character of the village,” said one local resident.
“I have received a letter from the owners which gives a very positive spin on the proposal but, when considered, it appears to be very misleading.”
Other residents are worried that the plans would lead to unacceptable levels of traffic.
“The associated traffic increase from this application cannot be accommodated by the village roads,” said one objector.
Mr Jones, who has lived in the village for 25 years, still believes the plans are an “exciting opportunity” for the area.
“There are polo and equestrian estates like this around the world, but this will be the first of its kind in the UK.
“With the growing interest in equestrian sports we hope that Hurtwood can act as a forerunner for the development of other elite level equestrian estates in this country. ”
This news report was originally published in H&H magazine on Thursday 23 October, 2014