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Burley Wagon Rides saved after owners Neil and Julia Kitchen are granted new licence

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ONE of the oldest tourist institutions in the New Forest, Burley Wagon Rides, has been saved after Forestry England agreed to give its new owners a three-year licence.

As the A&T reported last year, the tourist attraction, which has been running for 46 years, was under threat after several local homeowners made complaints against it.

The claimed that the rides were "ruining" Church Lane which is the route for the popular Witches Tour operated by the company.

Julia and Neil Kitchen, owners of Burley Wagon Rides
Julia and Neil Kitchen, owners of Burley Wagon Rides

Residents also claimed that passengers could see into their properties, took photos of their houses and were noisy.

New owners Neil and Julia Kitchen hit back saying they were not running "stag and hen party tours" and claiming that without a licence they would go bankrupt.

They are now celebrating after it was revealed at a meeting of the verderers that the FE had agreed to grant the £725 licence.

Julia said: “We are delighted, really pleased. It means we can carry on operating and keep a tradition that has been running in the village for nearly half a century."

The couple, who already pay towards upkeep of Church Lane, had launched a petition after being told their licence might be in danger.

Under the terms of the new licence the couple have to notify villagers of the restart of the rides 10 days in advance and close any gates they open along their routes.

Julia said: “We were doing that anyway. We carry out these rides very responsibly.”

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