THE creation of an all-weather paddock for horse riding at a West Pennine Moors farm has been recommended for approval by councillors.

Lee Thompson of Glendale Farm in Tockholes Road, Tockholes, has applied for planning permission for the new development.

It will be considered by Blackburn with Darwen Council's Planning Committee on Thursday after two objections from nearby residents and concern from the Tockholes Parish Council.

The residents are concerned about the adverse visual implications of the fenced paddock, drainage, the loss of trees and farmland and potential harm to wildlife.

The objectors also claim that the area does not need any further riding areas.

A report to the committee by planning officers recommends approval with eight conditions including the submission of a detailed landscaping scheme.

It says: "The council’s Development Plan supports new equine and outdoor recreational developments, provided they constitute sustainable development.

"The proposal will deliver a sand surfaced all-weather riding area for the exercising of horses on a non-commercial basis.

"Post and rail timber fencing is also proposed enclosing the riding area together with two access gates.

"The application site forms part of a small farmstead located within the hamlet of Tockholes and the Green Belt.

"The land is currently used for the grazing of horses.

"The installation would have an area of 800 square metres with natural sand and fibre used as surfacing materials.

"Losses of this relatively small site to equestrian development would not have a profound impact on the availability of agricultural land.

"A number of similar structures are found locally."