The Beaufort Hunt’s annual New Year’s Day hunt in Tetbury has been scrapped over safety fears.

Following a very close vote at a council meeting on Monday, December 10, councillors on Tetbury Town Council voted not to grant consent to the hunt to continue meeting at the Old Railway Yard.

Tetbury Town Council, who manage the site along with the Feoffees, explained their decision to not grant the hunt consent.

A spokesperson for the Council said: "The decision to refuse consent was made on the grounds that the hunt’s second risk assessment did not fully address concerns over the narrow site and contact between riders and hounds with the general public, including families with small children and pushchairs.

"Whereas the rail lands were previously rough open ground, they have recently been developed into attractive parkland with the Goods Shed Arts Centre as a focus for community activity.

"As a result of that development, the nature of the site on which the hunt meets has changed, although the hunt activity has not.

"In addition, the council was conscious of the reputational damage associated with public protests and the risk of disorder.

"It was also aware of the National Trust’s experience of reputational damage following its decision to allow a hunt to meet on one of its properties."

"The town council will now work with the Beaufort Hunt to allow the cheque presentation to Tetbury Hospital to continue on a suitable alternative site in Tetbury.

Local resident Chris Giles raised the issue of the risk assessment with the council earlier in the year after he encountered numerous horses and a speeding quad-bike from the hunt on the old railway track last New Year’s Day - read article here

A report prepared for the council by a Health and Safety consultant specialising in equestrian events then identified deficiencies in the council’s documentation and procedures.

After identifying concerns, the council then asked the hunt to resubmit an improved risk assessment before voting on the matter.

Traditionally, the hunt meets in Tetbury on the first Monday after Christmas, partly in order to present a cheque to Tetbury Hospital.

The Standard have contacted the Beaufort Hunt for a comment.