LBWF Application reference: 2009/0244   
Lea Marshes

See LVRPA report on this projectPlanning history

Committee/Date Planning 18th August 2009
Application reference 2009/0244
Applicant Lea Valley Regional Park Authority
Location Lea Valley Riding Centre, 71 Lea Bridge Road, Leyton, E10
Proposed development Erection of stable block and viewing gallery as shown on unnumbered site location plan and as amended by drawing no BS 517/09-10/01 received on 23 April 2009 and unnumbered drawing received on 11 June 2009.
Wards affected Lea Bridge
Appendices None


1.1 Grant conditionally.


2.1 The proposal is an acceptable use for Metropolitan Open Land and is a scheme which increases the range and quality of leisure provision available at the Riding Centre in particular and in the Lea Valley Regional Park generally. It is satisfactory in appearance and makes appropriate provision for people with disabilities. It is therefore considered to comply with the relevant policies of the Unitary Development Plan, particularly ENV4, 5 and 13 and BHE 1 and 2.


3.1 This application is being referred to Committee for decision because: A Member of the Council has requested Committee consideration. Councillor Smith has requested this as a number of members of the New Lammas Lands Defence Committee have requested to speak as objectors.


4.1 The Lea Valley Riding School is situated on the north side of Lea Bridge Road between the River Lea and the Lea Valley Ice Centre. The Riding Centre comprises a cluster of buildings set in grounds used for grazing and other related purposes, the buildings being approximately 190 metres from Lea Bridge Road.

4.2 There are two elements to this proposal. Firstly, there is a U-shaped block of 19 stables and two tack rooms, overall 32.5 metres x 27.9 metres with a height to the roof ridge of 2.75 metres; the stable buildings and canopies cover 7 metres depth and the central area and southern edge remain open. The second element comprises two spectator-viewing galleries alongside each other, each being 25 metres long, 2.5 metres wide and 3.9 metres high. Each has a capacity for 88 people. These would be located to the north of the existing buildings and adjacent to a recently erected horse walker.


5.1 Planning permission was granted for the centre as a riding school in 1971 (71/0141). Since then a large number of permissions have been granted for various ancillary developments including three staff dwellings. The most recent permission was for an orbital horse-walker (2008/1824) granted last December to the north of the existing buildings complex and adjacent to where the stables are now proposed. .

5.2 It should be noted that the original permission for the Centre was as a riding school. It has subsequently started providing livery, although specific planning permission has never been granted for this. The Park Authority advises this has been carried out for over 20 years.


6.1 As there are effectively no immediate neighbours to the Riding Centre, a site notice was displayed. Objections have been received from the New Lammas Lands Defence Committee (two letters) and 111 Riverside Close, E5. The letters from the New Lammas Lands Defence Committee give background information and raise issues which are not material planning considerations, e.g. possible infringement of Lammas access rights. The planning issues raised are:

6.2 Loss of Metropolitan Open Land. Comment: this issue is considered in the report below.

6.3 Likely to result in pressure to enclose more land and erect fences to cater for additional horses. Comment: building additional fencing on existing Riding Centre land would not be likely to require planning permission, but if a proposal were made to extend the curtilage of the Centre then planning permission would be required.

6.4 The location of the viewing galleries suggests a permanent or semi- permanent events area is being planned on non-Riding Centre land. Comment: The galleries are to facilitate spectators at small-scale events in the field directly in front of it. As indicated above, any proposal to extend the Riding Centre would require a further planning permission.

6.5 Over-intensification of the use. Comment: These are relatively small- scale facilities which are not considered to result in over-intensification.

6.6 Understand additional stables would mainly or entirely be used non- local community and therefore not benefit local community. Comment: The acceptability or otherwise of the proposal needs to be assessed on its land use planning merits. Whilst the provision of community benefits is part of that assessment, this generally should not depend on whether that benefits a particular area.

6.7 Visual impact to residents of Riverside Close. Comment: these properties are approximately 400 metres from the proposed site, so the visual impact will be comparatively limited.


7.1 Adopted Waltham Forest Unitary Development Plan (2006) The text of all policies listed below is appended to this agenda: BHE 1, 2, 3, 5, ENV 4, 5, 13.

7.2 London Plan Policies 3D.7 and 3D.9


8.1 The main issue to be considered in dealing with this application is the acceptability of the proposal on Metropolitan Open Land and its impact on the openness of the area. Policy ENV4 of the Unitary Development Plan indicates that open-air recreational uses will generally be permitted on Metropolitan Open Land, so in principle this proposal is considered acceptable. This would apply as much for livery use as learning to ride. Nevertheless, consideration has to be given as to the effect of the proposal on the open character of the Metropolitan Open Land in accordance with policy ENV5 of the Unitary Development Plan.

8.2 The proposal is to be located adjacent to the existing building complex and particularly the new horse walker. Thus, it would be seen against a backcloth of existing structures when viewed from most angles. Officers consider there to be a visual distinction between the area immediately behind the main buildings, where there are smaller enclosures and a range of minor buildings, and the more open fields to the north. This break is emphasised by a band of trees and mature shrubs that lie between. Nevertheless, the Park Authority has been asked to consider locating these facilities alongside the existing building complex. They have replied that they saw the preservation of the views of Leyton Marshes through the site from Lea Bridge Road to be important, a view accepted by the Inspector when he dismissed the recent appeal on the Essex Wharf site. On balance, officers conclude that all possible alternative locations have been considered and are likely to have a greater visual impact on the character of the area.

8.3 In assessing this scheme, consideration must also be given to the benefits that the Riding Centre brings to the area. It is an important local recreational facility and policy ENV13 of the Unitary Development Plan indicates the Council supports the Lee Valley Regional Park Authority in its efforts to increase the range and quality of leisure and amenity provision available to Waltham Forest residents.

8.4 Other issues to be considered in relation to the proposal are the appearance of the proposals and provision for disabled access bearing in mind policies BHE1, 2 and 5 of the Unitary Development Plan. Both proposed structures are of simple utilitarian appearance. The stables will have a timber finish and the viewing galleries will be profiled steel sheeting. Given the relatively unobtrusive location of the proposal and the existence of similar structures adjacent, their design is considered acceptable.

8.5 The Riding Centre has a specific focus on riding for the disabled. The stables and tack rooms would have level access and doors wide enough to be used by those with disabilities. The viewing galleries similarly are accessible and the scheme has been modified as a result of negotiation to increase the area where wheelchairs can be accommodated.


9.1 In making your decision, you should be aware of and take into account any implications that may arise from the Human Rights Act 1998. Under the Act, it is unlawful for a public authority such as the London Borough of Waltham Forest to act in a manner that is incompatible with the European Convention on Human Rights.
You are referred specifically to Article 8 (right to respect for private and family life), Article 1 of the First Protocol (protection of property). It is not considered that the recommendation to grant permission in this case interferes with local residents' right to respect for their private and family life, home and correspondence, except insofar as it is necessary to protect the rights and freedoms of others (in this case, the rights of the applicant). The Council is also permitted to control the use of property in accordance with the general interest and the recommendation to grant permission is considered to be a proportionate response to the submitted application based on the considerations set out in this report.


The Planning Committee is requested to resolve that planning permission be granted subject to the following conditions:

10.1 Conditions

1. The development hereby permitted shall be begun before the expiration of three years from the date of this permission.

2. No work shall take place on site until full details of the external finishes of the proposed structures have been submitted to and approved by the Local Planning Authority and the development shall then be finished in accordance with the agreed materials.

10.2 Reasons:

1. To comply with the provisions of Section 91 of the Town and Country Planning Act 1990 (as amended).

2. To ensure a satisfactory appearance for the proposed development to comply with policies BHE1 and 2 of the adopted Waltham Forest Unitary Development Plan (2006).

10.3 Informatives: None.


11.1 Planning application file 2008/1824.

Planning Committee minutes Aug 18, 2009.
191.Application 2009/0244 Lea Valley Riding Centre, 71 Lea Bridge Road, Leyton E10 PDF 28 KB


Subject to the addition of the condition set out below, planning permission granted for Application 2009/0244 in line with the recommendations set out in the main report for the erection of a stable block and spectator viewing galleries at the Lea Valley Riding Centre in Lea Bridge Road E10.

Additional Condition

3. No more than seven out of the nineteen stables hereby approved shall be used for livery with the remaining to be used for the stabling of horses directly related to the operation of the riding school, unless otherwise agreed by the Local Planning Authority.


3. In the interests of retaining an appropriate balance and mix of stabling for the benefit of a range of users and to comply with polices ENV4, ENV5 and ENV13 of the adopted Unitary Development Plan (2006).