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Stables bid for former auction mart

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By Marc McLean, local democracy reporter
Stables bid for former auction mart

THE former Thornhill Auction Mart could be converted into commercial livery stables.

Work had already begun with the clearing of the former auction mart buildings – which comprised of various sheds and barns.

The stables were also partially constructed until the owner realised that planning permission would need to be sought from Dumfries and Galloway Council.

Sharon Tait has since lodged a retrospective application with the local authority seeking approval for the commercial stables project, along with an outdoor riding area, installation of floodlighting, vehicle access, and car parking.

However, she is facing opposition from 12 residents who live nearby.

Council planning papers state: “The application is for the erection of a stable block, with provision for storage internally. The building would provide for eight stables and loose boxes and associated feed and bedding storage.

“The application seeks permission for commercial use. The applicant owns three horses and has five in livery. That is the total number of horses that would ever be accommodated on site.

“In addition, the applicant proposes a small manège area, to be used privately but also available on an hourly basis for people to school their own horses.

“The application is made retrospectively in part as the stable building has been constructed. However, work on site ceased when it was understood that planning permission was required.

“The building has not been completed internally and the manège and parking areas have not been constructed. The horses are not yet stabled in the building.”

However, objections to the development include concerns about road access and traffic issues, the size of the stables, light pollution from the additional lighting, the building materials and design not fitting with the area, and lack of neighbour notification.

But planning case officer Katie Towner has recommended it be approved subject to several conditions and the case will go before the planning committee next Wednesday for councillors to decide.

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