Plans to build a permanent forge on agricultural land have been refused by the local authority in Outwell, Norfolk.

Farrier David Sanderson, 39, wants to build a permanent forge to carry out remedial work. The planning application included stables to accommodate horses receiving long-term care.

The employment of at least two apprentices has also been dashed, a permanent forge being a requirement stipulated by the Farrier Training Service. David currently works from a mobile forge.

His clients range from one-pony owners to Thoroughbred studs. Many clients wrote letters to King’s Lynn and West Norfolk Borough Council in support of his application, which was turned down at a meeting of the planning committee last month.

“This area of the country has seen ahuge influx of horses in the past few years,” said David. “I’m having to turn people away because I’m wasting so much time driving between clients when I could be shoeing horses instead. But more importantly, I want to offer a better service to local horse owners – and I can’t do this unless I have a permanent forge as a base.

“The decision seems to be totally contrary to the government’s policy of encouraging rural initiatives that create employment and help boost the rural economy. “The council seems to think that a forge should be on an industrial estate – but horse owners hardly want to bring their horses there for shoeing. I would have thought that a forge just outside a village is one of the most traditionalfeatures of the countryside.”According to Alan Dover, head of planning control at King’s Lynn and West Norfolk Borough Council, the primary problem is that the proposed forge is agricultural land.

“Mr Sanderson is a highly qualified farrier, but he needs to find the right place [for his forge],” he said.

David intends to appeal against the decision and has written to Alun Michael to ask for support.

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