PLANS for a horse-breeding operation to the north-west of Ponteland are set for approval next week, despite the town council’s road safety fears.

The application, for the change of use of land south-west of Middle Coldcoats, Milbourne, will be considered by Castle Morpeth Local Area Council on Monday.

The application will change the farm from a private stable to a commercial breeding stable. There would be no additional building at the site or alterations to the existing stable block as part of the scheme. The only change would be the creation of a parking area to the west of the stable block.

Ponteland Town Council raised concerns about the impact on the A696, which it described as a “notorious black-spot”.

The council said there had been three fatalities on the stretch of road, as well as five serious accidents and a number of minor incidents in the last four years.

Members of the town council’s planning committee added: “Slow-moving vehicles pulling horse trailers and other vehicles of this nature will make this stretch of road even more hazardous as they attempt to join the A696.”

However, the county council’s highways team considered the change acceptable, with the low levels of traffic unlikely to result in any detrimental impact upon highway safety.

The officer’s report read: “Improvements to the vehicular access at the site, approved under an earlier planning application, will allow for safer ingress and egress at the site.”