A FARMING couple want to create a new riding arena for their daughters as part of an upgrade of their premises.

Alan Bretherton and Jackie Aspin have applied for planning permission to demolish an existing barn and replace it with a new multi-purpose agricultural building and add a sand paddock nearby.

The changes to Brownlow Farm on Pleasington Lane in Feniscowles, Blackburn, will enable them to make their operation profitable.

The new paddock is to allow their two young daughters to ride a small pony and donkey.

The couple have 25 acres at Brownlow Farm and rent 90 acres at Shadsworth, 25 acres at Ribchester and another 25 acres elsewhere in Feniscowles.

The land is used for beef cattle and lambs and to make excess hay and silage for sale.

Their agent MacMarshalls tells Blackburn with Darwen Council planners: “The applicants live in the recently renovated and extended dwelling at Brownlow Farm.

“The applicants own a small pony and donkey (companion for the pony) that is ridden by their two young daughters. They keep them in the central building in the yard area, which is mainly used for general agricultural storage and livestock housing at present.

“Since purchasing Brownlow Farm a couple of years ago, the applicants have renovated the house and now intend to concentrate on the yard area.

“Planning permission for the agricultural building forms an important part of the aim to tidy up and improve the appearance of the yard. The proposed sand paddock is needed for the applicants' daughters to exercise their pony.

“It will be completely private as the applicants have no interest in inviting third parties onto the yard with it being a working farm unit."

Livesey with Pleasington ward’s Cllr Derek Hardman said: “If this is going to cause no issues with the neighbours I have no problem with it.

“It is replacing one agricultural building with another and as long as the riding paddock is not open to the general public, I am fine with this.”