Copas Farms equestrian centre proposals discussed

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Emma Billingham

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Photo: Geoffrey Copas. Archive image.

The possibility of a new equestrian centre on land owned by Copas Farms was discussed at the planning committee of Cookham Parish Council last night.

The business put forward an outline plan for new stables and a grazing area in Long Lane, for which it says there is a need in the area.

Comments from the council were requested before Copas Farms submitted a formal application for the centre to the Royal Borough.

Geoffrey Copas, manager of the farms, attended the meeting.

He said: “We have had 50 people come forward and say they want this.

“What we have to do is find some way of maintaining grass fields in this area, and to keep agriculture isn’t economical anymore. With horses they can graze the grass.

“We’ve considered this very carefully. If we are going to let people keep horses we are going to have to have some housing, the only way we will be able to put a stable up in Cookham is on the greenbelt. It would bring pleasure to a lot of people.”

Councillors decided not to issue a response to the proposal until full plans had been submitted to the Royal Borough.

Cllr Andrew Nye, said: “I think this is quite complex at the moment and we should definitely support local business. But I suggest we make no further comment until an application goes in so residents can see the plan and comment on it.”

Also on the agenda for the meeting, held in the community room of Cookham Library in High Road, was the parish's response to Wycombe District Council's local plan. The plan contains proposals for hundreds of homes in neighbouring Bourne End.

Councillors raised fears of congestion and the possibility of children from the new homes putting pressure on Cookham primary schools.

The meeting was originally due to be held on Tuesday, July 19.

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