Horse business reveals a plan to build 16 new stables near Culford


- Credit: Archant

Retired horses could have a new place to be cared for if a new 16-stable livery gets the thumbs up from planners.

Mary Spittle and Peter Mason, from Timworth, are asking St Edmundsbury Borough Council for permission to create the stables, manege and area for walking horses at Balloon Barn Farm, near Culford.

The site is currently owned by Ms Spittle’s parents Richard and Sally Spittle, who run Culford Waste – the waste management and recycling firm.

“It’s on mum and dad’s farm so it’s part of an acreage,” said Ms Spittle.

“I run a small livery business from where I live now.”

The move to expand the new business – called Kings Forest Livery – is expected to cost tens of thousands of pounds.

“Just to fence it all in is £25,000-£30,000,” Ms Spittle said.

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She recently started a four-stable livery of six acres in Timworth, with the new plan marking a big expansion.

The family hopes a decision should be made in February by council planners and if permission is granted the site could be up and running as soon as next summer.

The application was prepared by planning consultants Acorus Rural Property Services.

Supporting the application, it wrote: “The proposed equine business is an example of the growth and expansion of an enterprise in a rural area through well-designed new buildings.

“Land is available that will be grassed down as it is currently arable. The grassland will add to the biodiversity of the area.”

The new site would be adjacent to the existing waste transfer station which Acorus said generated “existing vehicle movements via a good entrance” off the B1106.

“Therefore any additional vehicle movements created by the proposal will not have a significant impact on the local road network as this will be small,” the company added.

The total size of Balloon Barn Farm is around 200 acres, meaning the new business would only take up around 10% of the land.

The proposed stable block would be used in the main to house horses on a full livery basis, with horse rehabilitation and foaling also available to owners.

Ms Spittle said she tended to do retirement livery mainly for customers’ horses. She said she knew other businesses in the area and hoped they could work in harmony.

“I would rather be able to work with them rather than against them,” she said.