Horses may have to go in road dispute

A FARMER who built an access route to stables without planning permission says she could be forced to give away her horses because of the council’s action to remove the road.

Mrs Lyne Davies, who runs Higher Tops Farm in Moor Road, Holcombe, has been in dispute with Bury Council regarding the access road on her land.

The stables house six horses, which have been neglected and injured, and Mrs Davies helps them back to good health.

The track was built on green belt without planning consent around five years ago, and the council are now taking action to return the land to its former state.

She says that the access road is used to transport supplies for the horses, as well as for the horses to use themselves, and that it is safer than accessing the stables through Moor Road.

The farm applied for retrospective planning permission after the track was built, but this was rejected.

A further appeal was lodged, which was also rejected by a planning inspector, and Bury Council says an enforcement notice has not been complied with.

Mrs Davies says that this could mean she would have to find the horses a new home.

She said: “If I don’t have this track I will have to get rid of them. In the winter it is so icy, and so it is safer than going another way.

“The horses are my family and it is heartbreaking that I am having to think about getting rid of them.”

A council spokesman said: “This is a simple case of someone building on green belt land without planning permission.

“The farm owners previously created an unauthorised access road and hardstanding parking area. They applied for retrospective permission which was refused, on green belt and highways grounds.

“They lodged an appeal, but the independent inspector rejected their appeal and agreed with the council’s decision.

“Despite this, they have not complied with an enforcement notice requiring the removal of the access road and hardstanding.

“We are now taking enforcement action against them to restore the site to how it was.”

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