Horse business plans reined in

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A NEW Mills business has been refused permission to expand by councillors.

The owners of Will Hey Farm on Watford Lane had applied for permission for the retention of a new stable block of four stables as well as a sand paddock and associated works to expand their equine business.

But the plans were refused at a meeting of High Peak Borough Council’s Development Control Committee on Monday because councillors believed it was inappropriate development within the green belt.

Mike Wilson, whose family own Will Hey Farm, which is also a bed and breakfast, told councillors that the proposed development was needed because the current stables on the site did not meet the recommendations in size that had been made by several equine societies.

“We do use two stables but they are not sufficient and therefore new stables are essential to continue our business,” he said.

“It is of the appropriate scale and will have a minimal impact on the landscape.”

However, councillors disagreed and voted unanimously to refuse it.

Cllr Emily Thrane said: “The green belt is something which is extremely important in the High Peak.

“We need to safeguard and protect the environment which makes the High Peak and the Peak District what it is.

“This seems to me to be a non-essential development.

“I therefore move refusal for the reasons set out in the report.”

And Cllr Lance Dowson added: “It did come before New Mills Town Council and we asked for it to be called in. We were concerned about the overdevelopment of the site and there were also questions about it being a retrospective planning application.

“We are desperately short of businesses that are based in New Mills and that is three businesses trying to get off the ground.

“But I have to agree with the officer’s recommendations.”

The application was partially retrospective as some engineering works and work on the construction of retaining walls for a further stable block have already taken place on the site.

As well as refusing the application, committee members also agreed to enforcement action to secure the removal of the unauthorised stable building.

A previous application for the construction of a stable block on the site, including a change in levels, was refused in October 2011.