Guernsey Press

St Martin’s site’s ‘premium’ stables could be used by others

A BLOCK of ‘premium’ stables on a controversial St Martin’s site could be used by other horse owners, if a variation in a planning condition is granted.

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The new equestrian site for Grace Stables, under development on the western side of Fort Road. (Picture by Sophie Rabey, 33018637)

Permission was granted to erect two stable blocks and accompanying riding infrastructure at Grace Stables, on the western side of Fort Road, at the end of 2021.

It led to some public anger about the dramatic change in the ground levels, as the work got under way, and that application had more than 20 objections. The project is now well progressed.

The original permission was conditional that the site not be used for commercial livery or a riding school, as commercial use involves different planning policy considerations.

In the latest application A7 Design director Andre Rolfe-Bisson said his client was now looking for clarification that non-family users could contribute to the running costs of the stables. It would not be a commercial venture, but the other horse owners would contribute financially towards the stables’ running costs.

The site includes two stabling barns, each containing six horse stalls. Mr Rolfe-Bisson said his client’s horses and ponies would be accommodated in one of the two blocks. This would leave the other block available for use by non-family parties.

‘High-end stabling facilities are very limited within the island and the site has already attracted considerable positive attention within the equine community,’ he said.

‘Those persons that have visited it, albeit while it remains under construction, view it as a premium site and our client is confident that, regardless of whether non-family users are able to contribute towards its operating costs (with a variation to the condition), or make use of it without doing so (per the current planning permission), these users will share our client’s values of respecting location, the environment and, essentially, ensuring an harmonious co-existence with neighbouring residents.’

Mr Rolfe-Bisson said the stables would not be operated as a commercial venture by his client.

‘He simply wants the ability to allow non-family users to fairly contribute to the not-insubstantial running costs,’ he said. It is suggested the condition be changed to allow the site to stable horses, which can contribute to the site’s running costs on a not-for-profit basis.

‘Grace Stables will not be a commercial livery or riding school, or operated for any other trade or business, but will be a discrete, private, domestic, not-for-profit facility, available for the use of our client’s family and a small number of other parties who, with the Planning Department’s approval, will be able to contribute to the site’s running costs,’ Mr Rolfe-Bisson said.