A POPULAR equestrian centre could be demolished and a new estate built in its place.

Plans have been submitted by the owners of Braeside Equestrian Centre, on Great Burches Road, Thundersley, to Castle Point Council to demolish all buildings on the site, and build 44 homes on the site.

The Equestrian Centre opened in 2013 on the site of Braeside Manor Farm, and according to its website was “slowly becoming Essex’s most prestigious equestrian centre” and “this five star livery yard has the country’s leading equestrian facilities”.

But now plans have been submitted which would see the site close - including its 33 stables - and its large plot of land transformed into 44 houses and open green space.

Suggestions for the open space included in the application are new bridle ways and horse riding nature trails to connect into the existing networks as well as provide a historic reference to the site, picnic areas, public footpaths and dog walking trials, a section made available for off lead dog walking, public access to a trim trail and an outdoor gym and a BBQ committee.

A woman who keeps her horse at a different yard on the same road raised concerns about the development.

She said: “If the development is passed my worry is the increased traffic in a narrow lane and the impact it would have on riding our horses on the road both during building and when the homes are occupied - as with two cars at least per house it will be a huge increase is traffic.

“For the liveries at Braeside it will be a huge worry as there have been so many yard closures in the area due to building that there are not enough stables for the amount of horses.

“There are approximately 185-200 horses in Great Burches Road, but less than one square miles of lanes and bridleways.

“Horses are not safe on the road due to some drivers having no respect or awareness.”