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• Park Lane Stables awarded ‘Asset of Community Value’ status

• Park Lane Stables awarded ‘Asset of Community Value’ status

Natalie O'Rourke, standing, with apprentice rider Hannah on Prodny at the Park Lane Stables, Teddington

The Teddington Society is delighted that its application to list the Park Lane Stables site as an Asset of Community Value (ACV) has been approved by the London Borough of Richmond Council. This gives added legal protection to the site. The ACV listing lasts for five years unless it’s renewed.

This is in response to the news that the landowner has informed the Stables that after 12 years, their lease will not be renewed when it expires on May 31st.

The application was prepared by Society members Keith Atkinson, Philip Barnes and Mark Jopling, following a suggestion by Councillor Martin Elengorn, Richmond Council Cabinet Member for the Environment, Planning and Sustainability. And at our request, two of our Corporate Members – Kagan Moss and Richard Steer of Stone Rowe Brewer – have provided legal advice to Natalie O’Rourke of Park Lane Stables in this matter, on a pro-bono basis.

On the Society’s Twitter feed, Munira Wilson MP is among more than 100 people who have reacted with messages of congratulation and support. “Excellent news!” she wrote.

The Stables have also received backing from actor and comedian Rob Brydon, ace impressionist Rory Bremner, broadcaster and author Clare Balding, and actor and musician/songwriter John Altman. Rob Brydon (who lives in the borough) tweeted “It would be such a shame if these stables were to close”, and Ms Balding tweeted, “The most important thing is that they are saved for the children and adults who benefit from regular contact with their wonderful horses and ponies”.

Park Lane Stables’ ponies are a familiar sight in Teddington, particularly during the two Lockdown periods. The stables are a registered charity who do a huge amount of work with disabled or underprivileged children, and people with special needs. They are active members of the Riding for the Disabled Association, and in 2016 they were visited by the group’s president, The Princess Royal, who spoke warmly of their work.

The ACV process provides a six-month moratorium in which a community interest group may make an offer to the owner to buy the premises. The owner cannot sell the premises to anyone other than such a group during this period. Meanwhile, the landlord of the stables has told the BBC that he is “acutely aware of the sensitivity of the situation and the importance of the work done here” and that he is discussing options to find a resolution for the benefit of everyone involved.

Organising and applying for ACV status has been a real community project, and the Teddington Society is pleased to have assisted Park Lane Stables with their negotiations over these important and historic local premises.

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