Council chiefs blasted for backing Spice Girl's 'hideous' horse barn

Neighbours accuse council chiefs of ‘caving in to the rich’ as planners approve permission for Geri Horner’s new barn for her 14 horses despite complaints ‘hideous’ building disrupts phone signals

  • Geri Horner, aka Ginger Spice, has outraged villagers by building her horse barn
  • Neighbours in Martson St Lawrence say the stable blocks out mobile reception 
  • The villagers have rounded on West Northamptonshire Council for allowing it  
  • They say the authority has ‘caved in’ to the rich and ignored local opposition  

Furious neighbours living next to former Spice Girl Geri Horner have accused council chiefs of ‘caving in to the rich’ after allowing the millionaire to build a ‘hideous’ barn that they say blocks phone signal.

Horner, known as Ginger Spice, built the barn to house her 14 horses, which angry residents claim has knocked out mobile reception. 

Despite the opposition Geri, 50, and her husband, F1 boss Christian Horner have now been granted part-retrospective planning permission for the scheme, that was already underway in the rural home near Banbury, Oxon. 

And now neighbours have rounded on West Northamptonshire Council, saying the authority ignored the feelings of villagers in Marston St Lawrence, near Banbury, Oxon – who were staunchly against the vast stable. 

Stables: Geri Horner and her husband Christian Horner are at war with their neighbours after building a vast barn on their land without planning permission


Not fair: Furious neighbours have blasted a council for allowing the development to go ahead in spite of fierce opposition 

Geri Horner, pictured performing as Ginger Spice in the Spice Girls wearing her trademark union flag dress at the BRIT Awards in 1997

Other objections included claims the celebrity couple have ‘re-routed public footpaths’ and accused their horses of being a ‘menace’ to the public. 

One letter of opposition said: ‘The barn has affected mobile phone signals in the village without a doubt.’

They added: ‘No notice of planning permission notices ever erected in retrospect or any planning.

‘The barn is hideous, totally destroys the landscape and views. Excess floodlights all night long causing light trespass to all neighbours from the main house also.

‘What is it with this council – do they cave into the rich because they don’t have money to fight them in court?

‘Many people in the village not happy at all laws being allowed to be flouted. They have even re-routed public footpaths and installed their own stile gates, how on earth is being allowed?

‘Their horses are also a menace on the footpaths to the public.’

The plans show how large the barn as Ginger Spice’s country estate, which has outraged villagers living near her 

Back in the saddle: Back in 2020 avid equestrian Geri opened up on how her beloved horse Beauty helped her to find the courage to tour again with the Spice Girls

Another neighbour added: ‘The barn affects mobile signals in the village, is a hideous blight on the landscape and does not conform.

‘If this build is retrospective, why is it still being built? There is now a huge glass construction being built on the end of the barn – don’t the council care of the favouritism being shown to the wealthy here? Unacceptable.

‘This is not a verbal attack on the rich, this is a breach of fairness to all. Favouritism is being shown here.’

Others said the proposal should be refused due to the strength of local opposition.

One said: ‘Rishi Sunak PM stated in the last few days that ANY village that wholly objects to building plans, such as those happening without council diligence at Glebe House, are to be refused if the local village residents strongly object. Which they do.’

Geri and her husband also re-submitted plans for a £30,000 glasshouse at the property so the former Spice Girl could work on cooking healthy food for her family 

Planning documents say the old barn ‘is being replaced with a new barn of the same form and scale with stone plinth walls, timber cladding (Cedar) and a corrugated metal roof’.

Ms Horner married the boss of the Red Bull F1 team in 2015 and the couple have set up home in the Oxfordshire countryside.

Based in Marston St Lawrence, near Banbury, Geri has often showcased on social media the many animals on the country estate including donkeys and chickens.

Her current image is a far cry from her 90s persona when the Spice Girls were at the height of her fame as she wore short Union Jack dress.

A keen horsewoman she celebrated her first winner as an owner, with a horse named after her hit solo single Lift Me Up, in May.

The council said permission was granted on the condition it was used for ‘private equestrian and land management uses only’ and ‘no commercial use, including riding lessons, tuition, livery or competitions shall take place at any time’.

Restrictions around external lighting was also imposed.

The council officer said: ‘West Northamptonshire Council always seeks to look for solutions rather than problems so that applications for sustainable development can be approved, thereby resulting in improvements to the economic, social and environmental conditions of the area.’

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