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P.E.I. government denies Meadow Bank land application for Hughes-Jones horse therapy centre

Ellen Jones hopes to relocate her 10-year-old quarter horse named Ruby along with five other specially-trained horses to a property in Meadow Bank to get her therapeutic horse farm up and running again.
Ellen Jones hoped to relocate her 10-year-old quarter horse named Ruby along with five other specially-trained horses to a property in Meadow Bank to get her therapeutic horse farm up and running again. The provincial government denied the application - Jim Day

CHARLOTTETOWN, P.E.I. - A controversial application to have property in the rural community of Meadow Bank subdivided for a horse therapy business has been denied.

The proposal by Ellen Jones to have her business, called Hughes-Jones Centre for People and Animals, relocated to property along the Hyde Point Road met with vocal, angry and even ugly opposition last month at a public meeting in Cornwall.

Emotions ran high as concerns were raised over everything from increased traffic to the smell of horse manure where Jones hoped to bring her six specially-trained horses, build a house, and construct a barn.

Wayne MacKinnon, spokesman for the Department of Communities, Land and Environment, said the application was denied because it did not conform with the official plan.

Jones does not fully grasp why her application has been denied by government, even after having a meeting with representatives from the province on the matter.

“I think it is fair to say we were left with more questions than answers as to why horses and rural business can’t exist within a special planning area,’’ she told The Guardian Tuesday.

“I think it’s disappointing. It feels like it is a contradiction in terms that horses are somehow the problem in a rural environment.’’

Jones says she is considering appealing the ruling to the Island Regulatory and Appeals Commission.

If the Meadow Bank property is ultimately ruled out as an option, Jones plans to look for potential alternative properties to house her business and home.

Jones had her business uprooted when the province expropriated her property to pave the way for construction of the Cornwall bypass. She needed to take the government to court to get what she believed was the value of property, which was home to her operation for 10 years.

She was awarded nearly $300,000 in additional compensation for a total of $831,800.

The business incorporates horses in developing life skills, empowerment, esteem and leadership skills.

Twitter.com/GuardianJimDay

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