A Jersey couple have put forward plans to start a St. Ouen-based livery business in the hope of driving forward a new industry they say could offer a "valuable solution" to the decline in farming.
Jersey's Bridging Island Plan states that "with an estimated £10m turnover per annum generated from a land area of approximately 430 hectares (2,400 vergées), the equine industry is (and should be recognised as) an economically significant and socially valuable use of land resources, with many islanders involved in equine activities spending time in the countryside with the health and wellbeing benefits associated with the activity".
Hoping to drive forward that opportunity are Gary and Lorraine Vibert, who have lodged plans to convert an "unkempt" storage facility at The Coach House, Manor Farm on La Cache es Fresnes in St. Ouen, into two stables and two storage rooms for a livery business.
"With our experience, we have seen an opportunity to diversify the land we own and run a small business alongside our existing jobs," the pair, who have extensive equestrian experience, explained in documents submitted as part of their planning application.
The couple further explained that "with the decline in farming, equine land and stabling has become an increasingly viable option for Jersey's rural economy".
They added: "Land and stabling are continually in demand in Jersey, and we already have interest should our application be successful.
"Our field is not suitable for potato growing and yet the costs of maintaining hedges and the land remain so, by running a small holding, some of these costs can be offset."
Pictured: The proposed area for the livery business "has for some time been used to store farm machinery used to maintain the site and small scale growing of vegetables, leading to a slightly unkempt appearance". (MS Planning)
Director of MS Planning, Michael Stein, explained in the planning application that the proposed area for the livery business "has for some time been used to store farm machinery used to maintain the site and small scale growing of vegetables, leading to a slightly unkempt appearance.
"The proposal will involve clearing the site and constructing the stable building."
The proposed stable would also feature solar panels on a low-pitched roof, and belocated at the north of the site meanwhile the south of the site will be used for grazing.
The site is also located on the same road as St. Ouen's Football Club.
The full planning application can be viewed online.
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