A landowner in Marlborough is planning to take the council to court over proposed plans to build an equine centre in a sensitive area. 

Drs Andre Buthe and Christiana Ober want to build the clinic on Poulton Mill, which sits in the North Wessex Downs Area of Oustanding Natural Beauty

But their worry is that it will damage the environment and the river that Wiltshire Wildlife Trust is trying to protect.

Martin Ephson who owns the land on the other side of the river has said the town council have until Monday before he officially takes them to court.

Martin believes that they have broken the law by removing the green space protection status in the area - which prevents new developments from being built unless it is under special circumstances.

The removal of the status comes after Wiltshire Wildlife Trust purchased the nearby Bay Meadows thanks to grants and public funding which amounted to nearly £400,000.

A spokesperson for the trust said: “Set within the North Wessex AONB the site provides both a historical and biological connection to the towns’ development.

"The meadows were historically part of the water meadow network. Once common, they now only remain as remnants of historical land use.  

Martin Ephson said: “Building the equine centre is a great initiative, but I’m not quite sure why the council is so intent on granting permission for it to be built in this space.

“Everything stands against them in terms of the location.”

“The protection has been taken away since May, and all they have said about this is that it is due to a mapping error, and they haven’t admitted to doing anything wrong.”

A referendum on whether Marlborough will adopt the Neighbourhood Plan is also set to be held on August 11- with the purpose of this intended to set out a series of planning policies that will be used to determine applications in the area until 2036.

Martin said: “The Neighbourhood plan has been six years in the making and has resulted in a coherent plan for the community. 

"Amongst many other proposals, the plan earmarks the field proposed for the new equine centre to be preserved as a green space for the communities benefit.   Due to this, I suspect that there will be an attempt to approve the application prior to the adoption of the plan.”

Marlborough town council did not wish to comment on the current situation when approached by this newspaper.