VILLAGERS raised strong objections when plans were put forward for a stable block in open countryside.

They claimed applicant Phillipa Emmonds had “destroyed what was once a beautiful field” and made a mess at Crab Tree Field on Stannage Lane, Churton.

“This is quite contentious in the local community,” said City Cllr Paul Roberts (Lib Dem, Farndon) when her plans came before Chester’s planning board. “A number of the issues raised by the objectors are not issues for the planning board.”

Hatton Heath-based agents Rostons, for Miss Emmonds, told the city council the field, nearly three acres, contained a temporary field shelter, a dilapidated temporary stable block and an old redundant strawberry pickers shed previously damaged by a falling tree.

The replacement, multi-purpose L-shaped stables and storage, with an area of 150sq m, would replace all the unsightly buildings and would be used for horses, sheep, bullocks and heifers.

Planning officers said they did not believe it was over large for the intended uses and recommended the application should be approved.

The application, which councillors were told had resulted from enforcement action, was approved.