Equestrian training centre faces opposition in rural Meadowbank

Ellen Jones, the woman who sued P.E.I.'s provincial government over the expropriation of her family's property, is once again in the hands of government to make a decision on land she wants for her business.

Hughes-Jones Centre trying to buy land after being relocated by Cornwall bypass

The land at 98 Hyde Point Road would be subdivided and Jones would buy about two hectares. (Ellen Jones )

Ellen Jones, the woman who sued P.E.I.'s provincial government over the price for the expropriation of her family's property,  is once again in the hands of government to make a decision on land she wants for her business. 

Jones closed the Hughes-Jones Centre, her equestration facility, in May after the property was bought by government for the development of the Cornwall bypass. 

Now, she has found a piece of land in Meadowbank, about two hectares that would be subdivided off a larger piece of land  at 98 Hyde Point Road.  But that land is in a special planning area that has limited allowable uses, therefore the province must decide if Jone's plan fits into those uses. 

What Jones would like to do is a scaled-down version of her old business. 

"Ideally we would like to build a small residence and a much smaller barn than we had before, probably 55 x 70 [foot] round pen, so we could interact with people in a enclosed setting," said Jones, adding that she will be focusing on leadership training for women, girls and corporate groups. 

Close neighbours not happy 

As part of the decision making process, the province held a public meeting Wednesday night for residents to ask questions and voice their opinions on the plan. 

In the crowd there were many supporters, and former clients, but some of her potential neighbours raised concerns. 

Ellen Jones says she hopes she can work with her neighbours. (Natalia Goodwin/CBC )

Becky Mowat believes the plan goes against the planning act, and feels it  does not suit the area, nor the land.

"We understand that viewpoint isn't in the act but for us it is a complete detrimental impact," Mowat said

"Are we going to have the need of the one to find a new forever home take over the need of the many, the people who have put their heart and soul to provide a beautiful home for themselves and a lot of their money on Hyde Point Road?"

There were many supporters in the crowd, but some close neighbours are not happy with the plan. (Natalia Goodwin/CBC )

Others, like David Curley hope that the environment is taken into account when making the decision. 

"We are so lucky to live in Meadowbank. Islanders love this Island and the land, and I think it's our responsibility to protect the land and to enhance it."  he said. 

Jones says she is not trying to ruffle any feathers.

"We took a lot of really interesting comments away from this meeting today, we were listening we did hear them and we want them to be involved in this process going forward," she said.

"You can't please 100 per cent of the people all the time but we can do our darndest to make sure this is something we can all live with together."

The province couldn't give a timeline as to when a decision would be made, representatives at the meeting said it could be months. The public, now has seven days to submit written comments to government.

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About the Author

Natalia Goodwin

Video Journalist

Natalia is a video journalist in P.E.I. She has also worked for CBC N.L.

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