Controversial Longridge stable plans may be passed

Old Clay Lane
Old Clay Lane
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Controversial plans for stabling on two adjoining sites on the Longridge outskirts could finally be given the go-ahead next week after an eight-year battle by the applicants.

Planning officers at Preston Council say the two sets of plans for plots 1 and 2 and 4 and 5 in field number 6637 off Old Clay Lane, Inglewhite Road should be approved by the city’s planning committee on February 11.

The plans were due to be dealt with by officers under delegated powers but have been called in in by rural north councillor Lona Smith for the committee to make the decision.

Applicants Lias Shaw and Lawrence Ward each want to erect stables for private use to include sand paddocks and storage buildings for storage of items ancillary to the land. Both stable blocks would comprise three stables capable of accommodating a maximum of three horses.

Coun Smith is concerned about highway safety at the junction of Old Clay Lane and Inglewhite Road and believes the developments “would be an intrusion to the landscape and character of the countryside and would lead to the disturbance of Great Crested Newt, a protected species”.

The plans are also opposed by Ribble Valley MP Nigel Evans and Preston North and Wyre MP Ben Wallace and Preston Council has received 37 letters of objection.

County highways has no objections “on the basis the proposal would not intensify the use

of the existing access,” while Whittingham Parish Council states: “The previous appeal

decisions have established the proposal would have an unacceptable impact on highway safety”.

A number of previous plans for the site have either been withdrawn by the applicants, refused by the council or dismissed on appeal.

But after the applicants reduced the size of the stable blocks, each to accommodate three horses for private use, officers conclude they are “an acceptable use within a rural area, and would not have an unacceptable or detrimental impact on the character, appearance and visual amenity of the open countryside” and “would not significantly alter the intensity” of the junction.