A BREEDER who was refused permission to build stables on his land after claiming his horses were being 'sexually interfered with' has decided to appeal.

David Ashworth had his application to build on land at Riverside, in the Low Moor area of Clitheroe, thrown out in March by planning councillors despite officers recommending it be allowed.

Local councillor John McGowan asked his colleagues to reject the application on the grounds that the buildings would spoil the view for visitors walking along the Ribble Way.

In his defence, Mr Ashworth told the committee that his horses, worth up to £5,000 each, had suffered from "various acts of criminality, including them being sexually interfered with". He also claimed that he needed to be able to better protect his land after people had begun using it to "indecently expose themselves".

The claims were denied by residents nearby who also spoke at the meeting, although police confirmed complaints had been made in the past.

Letters have now been sent to Ribble Valley Council and Clitheroe Town Council by the Bristol-based planning inspectorate, confirming Mr Ashworth is to appeal against the decision.

A report to Clitheroe Town Council stated the appeal would be a 'written hearing', meaning submissions will be made before the inspector makes a decision. Closing date for submissions will be May 31.