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Council to decide Vicky de Sousa's controversial stud plans

Brickfield Stud, Exning Road (8042839)
Brickfield Stud, Exning Road (8042839)

A controversial planning application by the wife of champion jockey Silvestre de Sousa, to change the use of 11 acres of land at her Brickfield Cottage home in Exning into a thoroughbred equestrian centre with pony show jumping and training facilities looks set to be approved.

The recommendation comes despite an admission by the planning officer in charge that the site did not have planning permission to operate as it was currently doing.

But Adam Ford claimed in his report, due to be considered by members of Forest Heath council’s planning committee on Wednesday, it was not felt its use since 2013 represented ‘an intentional or disingenuous attempt to deceitfully or otherwise circumnavigate the planning system and its associated controls’.

Vicky de Sousa’s plans had been set for refusal, with Mr Ford originally unhappy that her proposal sought permission for large vehicles to use an access between two houses which was narrow and restricted.

Suffolk Highways also issued a holding refusal to the plans because of the potential danger to cyclists and pedestrians at the entrance to the access, close to Exning cemetery.

But following the submission of amended plans for a new road, the highways authority has dropped its objection subject to Mrs de Sousa complying with nine stringent conditions controlling access, surfacing, visibility, parking, gate provision, signage, deliveries management and lighting.

Exning Parish Council is currentlyobjectingto the application, as are residents who live close to the site.

The council raised concerns that the proposed entrance to the site between the residents’ homes had not got planning permission andin its opinionearlier objections by Suffolk County Highways to the entrance had yet to be overcome.

In its submission to the planning authority the council said: “If, however, the new entrance alongside to the electrical sub-station should be considered the main and only entrance to Brickfield Cottage, and the entrance between the three cottages should be abandoned, Exning Parish Council would withdraw its objection to this application.”