A NEW equestrian centre has been approved for the Leweston School on the outskirts of Sherborne.

The private school is to build the centre with outdoor arenas and a new main building to replace existing L-shaped stables, which will be demolished.

The school say the new facilities will allow it to take part in competitions and event with occasional local use also encouraged.

There were no public comments on the proposals apart from the parish council which welcomed the development.

The agreed consent will allow part of an existing car park and a small area of woodland to be converted into a 75mx30m outdoor arena, with a field to the north east of the site providing a smaller 50x30m second arena, paddock and turn out spaces.

Said the school: “The existing stable buildings are in poor condition, and will be removed, with the existing materials salvaged and re-used within the proposals. These building footprints, and the courtyard and surrounding spaces, will be utilised for the new equestrian building.

“This new stable block will provide the school with stabling for up to 22 horses, with associated facilities such as wash bays, tack and feed rooms… The stable elements of the building have been designed with a central open courtyard to maximise circulation and natural ventilation, with an extended roof canopy to all sides.”