Airport parking to save popular equestrian centre

AN EQUESTRIAN centre near Clevedon, used by thousands of people each year, could be forced to close if proposals to introduce airport parking at the site are opposed.

That is according to the owner of The Hand Equestrian Centre in Davis Lane, Kenn, Nick Davies, who hopes to use part of the 15-acre site for parking to help subsidise the facility.

He bought the centre in 2006 and since then has spent �2.6million, turning it into a well-equipped resource for use by horse riders from across the South West and further afield.

Mr Davies says he is currently subsidising it at the rate of about �12,000 each month and hopes proposals to introduce a 500-space parking facility at the site could plug the gap.

This would see shuttle buses used to transport customers to and from the airport and also to the Congresbury hotel, Doubletree by Hilton at Cadbury House.

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Mr Davies said: “A lot of people going to the airport come off the motorway and use the B roads to get to it.

“With this, they would be coming off the motorway and going straight to this parking facility, where we can then put three cars worth of people into one MPV.

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“This would take traffic off the roads and reduce the carbon footprint.

“If I don’t do something then the centre will be lost as an equestrian facility.

“This will put some money back into it and keep it open for the community.”

Mr Davies hopes the shuttle buses could also be used to transport residents of villages such as Kenn and Yatton to and from Clevedon.

The scheme, which could create 16 full and part-time jobs, would run between 4am-11pm and see a bus leaving the centre every hour.

If allowed to go ahead, part of the Davis Lane site currently used as a horse lorry park would be resurfaced and new lights, a reception area and a barrier would be installed for the parking scheme. A disused field at the front of the site would then become a lorry park.

Discussions about the plans have been held with North Somerset Council and presentations have also been given to parish councils in Kenn and Yatton.

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