The British Horse Society has successfully opposed an application for fencing part of Telscombe Tye, a Sussex common in the South Downs National Park.
The UK’s foremost equestrian charity made the objections to the council’s proposals to fence off a piece of land for grazing at a Public Inquiry. The fencing would have severely restricted access to the common for all users, and alternative access would not have been possible without serious work being undertaken on key links. No works schedule or management plan was presented at the inquiry.
In refusing the application, the inspector concluded that the fencing would not necessarily improve nature conservation on the common, and would restrict access. She agreed that it was disappointing that there was so little professional support in terms of site specific data or recommendations from main organisations which supported the application.
BHS County Access and Bridleways Officer Jackie Rowland said: “With no explanation of how the works would benefit the common, and no management plan provided, the only real effect of the Council’s proposed fencing would be to restrict access for equestrians and other users.
“With no explanation of how vital links to this access would be restored, access for horse riders would have been effectively removed. We welcome the Inspector’s decision to reject the proposals.”
The inquiry is just one of a series of battles the BHS is fighting to protect access to commons. More details of their fight to defend riders’ rights to a safe, accessible off-road network can be found on the Riding Off-Road section of this site.