A NEW breeding stable for horses will open in Ponteland after it was granted permission by councillors despite road safety concerns.

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

However, Ponteland Town Council raised concerns over road safety, with the stretch of the A696 running past the site an accident blackspot.

Representing the council, Coun. Christine Caisley said: “The whole of that stretch of road is notorious for people speeding. We’re concerned that traffic coming off and joining the traffic flow will make the area even more dangerous.”

The entrance to the site has been moved as part of an earlier application in a bid to make the road safer, but Coun. Richard Dodd said it didn’t go far enough.

He said: “I can’t vote for this on the junction itself, because I still regard it as dangerous. I can’t vote for this cause of the number of accidents on this road.”

But applicant Clair Franklin said that changing the stable to a breeding stable would actually mean less traffic, as they would no longer be leaving to compete with the animals.

She said: “We’re looking to move into breeding horses rather than competing them, because of a long term health condition. It will reduce the amount of traffic.”