Approval for controversial stable plans

Lona Smith
Lona Smith

Controversial plans to build stables on land in rural Preston have been given the green light.

Two applications were lodged for adjacent sites in a field off Old Clay Lane in Longridge, to build stables for private use.

The plans were due to be decided by officers under delegated powers, but were called in to the planning committee by Preston Rural North councillor Lona Smith over highway safety fears.

Applicants Lias Shaw and Lawrence Ward each applied to Preston Council to erect stables for private use, to include sand paddocks and storage buildings, for storage of items ancillary to the land. The blocks would provide three stables, to accommodate three horses each.

Senior planning officer Chris Blackburn said previous plans had been refused, with appeals dismissed, but planning policies had changed since then.

Coun Lona Smith said: “The grave concerns are clear from the number of objections raised by people who live locally. The main issues is the effect of the proposal on the highway safety at this junction.”

She added: “The highway safety to road users and the power to overcome this is not in the control of the applicant. I would respectfully urge you to yet again refuse this application on the grounds it would cause safety hazards, and also for pedestrians using the footpath on Old Clay Lane.”

Mr Blackburn said: “There are highway safety concerns, they do remain valid.” But he said the application wouldn’t increase the number of vehicular movements, meaning the impact would not be “severe” and so would not merit grounds for refusal. The plans were approved by nine votes to three.