It has been a huge hit since opening in October, but a children’s pony ride group faces closure unless it can raise $40,000 fast after a spat with neighbours.
It has been a huge hit since opening in October, but a children’s pony ride group faces closure unless it can raise $40,000 fast after a spat with neighbours.

Popular children’s pony ride business faces closure

A not-for-profit children's pony ride operation faces closure unless it can raise $40,000 - fast - after complaints from neighbours about noise, parking and pony poo.

For the past two months a petition has been circulating calling for Sherwood Little Rides (SLR), on Strickland St in Sherwood, to be shut down by Brisbane City Council.

The petition claimed SLR was in breach of City Plan 2014 because it was operating as a small business.

Founder Dion Bradshaw started SLR in October last year and said it had brought joy to many children, including disabled youngsters.

But she now faced a steep bill to prepare and lodge a material change of use development application (DA) with Council, changing the existing usage from horses for private use to horses used for individuals and groups.

"We have set out to bring something good to the community. I am motivated by the happiness and resolve horses bring to people and would love for that to continue," she said.

"Our centre provides children and people with great challenges to connect with animals.

"In supporting us, the community can support people with disabilities as well the general public to benefit from horses and riding".

However, local Councillor Nicole Johnston said all small business had to ensure they complied with Council by-laws before setting up.

She had received complaints including about droppings, pressure on scarce street parking and noise.

"It's important that when starting a new business in a residential neighbourhood that all town planning requirements are met to ensure there are no adverse impacts for surrounding homes,'' Cr Johnston said.

The petition also claimed SLR did not "align'' with City Plan 2014 or with the Strickland St paddock's sport and recreation zoning, which the petitioner said was being "misused''.

"No consultation with Council, residents near the paddock or the broader neighbourhood," it read.

"It is turning into a party function venue and a horseback riding centre.

"Say goodbye to quiet weekends or calm school holidays.

"The business is changing our private, peaceful and friendly neighbourhood and filling it with noisy, partying strangers who are taking advantage of the peace in our area …"

 

Sherwood Little Rides owner Dion Bradshaw with Wilbur the goat and 'Dash'. Picture: AAP/Renae Droop
Sherwood Little Rides owner Dion Bradshaw with Wilbur the goat and 'Dash'. Picture: AAP/Renae Droop

But Mrs Bradshaw said if the organisation was closed, people with disabilities would no longer have access to the horses.

"People who ride because they can't travel to rural areas will no longer ride,'' she said.

"Local kids who come after school because their other activities have been cancelled due to COVID-19 restrictions will be back on screens."

She said SLR allowed people to undertake an activity in fresh air where they could easily social distance.

She has set up a GoFundMe page (www.gofundme.com/save-sherwood-pony-rides) to help raise the estimated $40,000 needed to prepare the DA.

She also asked those who supported her to visit sherwoodlittlerides.com.au or via Facebook (Sherwood Little Rides Not For Profit) to express their support.

Originally published as Popular children's pony ride business faces closure


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