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Planning application – Keysoe International Equestrian Centre

20th January 2022

CPRE Bedfordshire has submitted an objection to a part retrospective planning application from Keysoe International Equestrian Centre.

Below we outline some of the reasons for our objection. The full submission can be downloaded at the bottom of the page.

There is a second planning application for the removal of the old tannoy system and the erection of a new one. The CPRE Bedfordshire response to that application focuses on the issue of tranquility and can also be found at the bottom of this page.

In CPRE Bedfordshire’s view there is a serious absence of important information needed to support the application.


Accommodation for visitors with horses

Where will the owners/grooms etc. of the 411 horses using the stables stay during the time that their horses are stabled? It seems to us that an application for the stables alone without the additional facilities which will enable them to be used/operated effectively is very misleading.


Waste Management Plan

The applicant has not provided a detailed Waste Management Plan (WMP) to support the application. This would cover the disposal of horse manure, stable bedding material etc. In view of the volume of waste material likely to be generated the WMP would normally need to be agreed with the Environment Agency and Anglian Water to ensure that no contamination or pollution of water courses and drainage ditches occurs which would be illegal. We believe that due to the scale of the Waste Management operation, an Environment Permit may be required.


No Transport Plan has been provided with the application

In view of the scale of the proposals we strongly urge Bedford Borough Council (BBC) to require the applicant to prepare a detailed Transport Plan to support the development which is very considerable in a rural area such as Keysoe and which will result in a very significant increase in visitors and traffic compared to current levels.

A Transport Plan is particularly important in this location due to very narrow principal access roads. These issues, in addition to the sheer volume of additional traffic that will be generated by the temporary stables need to be clearly recognised and specified in the application.

In addition, BBC’s Climate Change policies require all new developments to look at reducing their carbon footprints and promoting greener forms of transport wherever possible e.g. public transport options.


Inadequate Noise Assessment and No Assessment of Light Pollution

No assessment has been made of the impact of artificial lighting around the temporary stables for which no details whatsoever have been provided. This despite the location being entirely rural with very little or no street lighting.

Keysoe and the surrounding area is one of the more tranquil parts of Bedfordshire and has some of the darkest skies at night.


In summary

We believe that the planning application has continually underplayed the impact that the development of 411 temporary stables will have on the local rural community of Keysoe and on this rural part of Bedford Borough.

Nowhere in the application has the applicant stated clearly the number of people they expect will be using the temporary stables, the number of additional vehicle movements that will be generated by the development and the number of additional visitors and competitors it will encourage to attend the Keysoe International Equestrian Centre.

No detail has been provided regarding the artificial lighting of the temporary stables which will most certainly be required and the predicted noise levels have been significantly understated. Furthermore, the very important matter of Waste Management has not been adequately addressed and this could cause serious pollution problems.

CPRE Bedfordshire contends, that in the absence of this detailed supporting evidence it is not possible for the application to be properly considered by BBC.


CPRE Bedfordshire – full submission Planning Application 21/03045/M73A – Erection of stables, wash boxes, acoustic fencing and provision of drainage, ground works and hard surfacing (part retrospective) for a temporary 3 year period from the date of the decision. 

CPRE Bedfordshire – full submission Planning Application 21/03303/FUL – Removal of existing tannoys (three poles and five speakers) and erection of new tannoy system

Quernmore landscape