Packer polo plans revival attempt

ATTEMPTS are being made to revive planning consents for polo grounds at Greathouse Farm, Stedham, created by the late Kerry Packer.

While they were still in the Australian tycoon’s ownership, Chichester District Council gave permission in 2000 for a permanent stables building, relocated all-weather track, earth banks and landscaping.

Two years later, in a bid to make his private polo centre more saleable, Mr Packer, who had returned home to Australia in 1999 with heart problems, also won consent for a replacement house at Greathouse Farm, a caretaker’s bungalow, and extensive landscaping.

However, neither of the planning permissions has been implemented and Mr Packer, who died in 2005, sold Greathouse Farm as it was, to Filipino banker Bobby Aguirre, patron of the Los Tamaraos polo team.

In 2006, a Packer team returned to Stedham when the grounds were rented for a three-year term by Kerry’s son, James.

But he has not played in England since his final year there in 2008.

Now James Packer has new polo grounds, stables and grooms’ accommodation created on the Cowdray Estate at Manor Farm, Selham, although it is understood he may not base his Ellerston team there this summer.

The applications to revive the old Stedham permissions have been submitted by Polo Properties Ltd.