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Green light for Norfolk polo club plans

PUBLISHED: 12:00 14 April 2010 | UPDATED: 09:42 02 July 2010

Stephen Pullinger

South Norfolk will soon welcome its first polo club after a farmer was given the green light to teach the sport on one of his fields.

South Norfolk will soon welcome its first polo club after a farmer was given the green light to teach the sport on one of his fields.

Chris Townsend, of Langley Abbey Estates Ltd, will use a 13-hectare grass field off Stone Lane, in Langley, near Loddon, for practice and summer tournaments.

Planning officers at South Norfolk Council had recommended the plans for refusal following objections from Norfolk County Council's highways department about increased traffic movements down the country lane and the field's access, as well as concerns about the impact on a public footpath.

However, members of the authority's south and east area planning committee dismissed the recommendation yesterday saying a polo field would bring employment to the village and promote the countryside.

They approved the plans and put in place procedures to divert the affected footpath around the edge of the field.

Mr Townsend said he could have held a limited number of polo events on the field under his permitted development rights, but wanted planning permission so he could teach the game throughout the year.

He said he has had an enthusiastic response from local schools whose pupils are willing to give the traditional sport a try.

He added that concerns about increased traffic movements and the number of possible visitors had been over-inflated.

He said he would look at hosting tournaments on the field only if there proved to be a demand. A temporary building and portable toilets would then be placed on the field for spectators that could be removed at the end of the playing season, which runs from May to September.

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