COUNCILLORS have approved plans for a new all-weather riding arena at a stables on the outskirts of an East Lancashire town despite neighbours' fears over drainage and flooding.

Amanda Berry can now replace her current exercise paddock at Lower Howorth Fold Stables in Howorth Road, Burnley, with a new one less at risk from the extremes of the weather.

Two nearby residents had objected to the scheme for the use of two competition showjumping horses and a pony on drainage grounds.

During a debate at Burnley borough’s development control committee, Ms Berry's agent Claire Bradley told councillors: “The objections relate to surface water flooding and stem from a neighbour dispute many years ago.

"The drainage system works very efficiently. The locations has excellent natural drainage properties. There will be a sub-base drainage system installed below the arena to minimise any surface water run-off. The proposed surface which consists of sand will provide a much improved drainage system for the area and the surface acts like a sponge in wet weather. This proposal will actually result in less water entering the drainage system and improve the drainage are an improve the alleged drainage problems suggested by the neighbours."

She said that the all-weather riding facility was urgently needed for the arana to remain operational and would benefit both horses and riders.

The committee voted to approve the scheme.