A DOG day care centre in Paignton has got the green light after Torbay Council’s development management committee were told they would be ‘barking mad’ not to approve the scheme.
Les Snodgrass applied to change the use of the site at the back of Tor Park Road car park from a vacant storage yard to a dog day care centre with associated buildings, pens and parking.
He attended the council’s development management committee meeting on Monday to support his application.
He said he had run a dog day care centre and boarding facility from his own home for six years and had seen a ‘massive increase’ in demand.
He said: “What we’re offering is a safe environment for dogs to spend the day instead of being stuck at home. We can socialise them and train them.”
Dog behavourist Andrew Hale also spoke in support of the application, and explained that dogs bark when they are bored, lonely, over-excited, hungry, frightened or because they have learned that barking leads to certain responses.
He said: “There’s barking at traditional kennels because the dogs’ needs aren’t being properly met. The proposed centre isn’t a kennel. The dogs can have stimulating activities in small groups. I believe this centre will help to reduce nuisance barking.”
The facility could cater for a maximum of 100 dogs, although Mr Snodgrass said: “There won’t be 100 dogs at a time.”
Cllr Dave Thomas addressed the committee with concerns about noise. He said: “The biggest issue our environmental health office have to deal with, regarding noise, is dogs barking. This noise is annoying because of the volume and it’s inconsistent.
“There were 11 letters of representation — eight for and three against. The three against were from residents within 40m of the property.”
The letters in support referred to the successful management of the existing, smaller-scale business, which provided a valued service for its customers.
Council officers told the committee that it was ‘likely’ that noise complaints would be received, therefore they recommended conditional approval.
One of the conditions would be that dogs would only be allowed on the premises between 7am and 7pm Monday to Friday and 7am to 1pm on Saturdays.
The officers said the facility was ‘unlikely to have a significant highway impact’ as people would drop off their dogs on their way to work, and therefore make a stop-off rather than an additional journey.
The report stated that the site was a brownfield site and the scheme had the potential over time to create the full-time equivalent of eight jobs.
Cllr Mark Kingscote said: “I believe members would be barking mad if we didn’t approve this scheme.”
The committee unanimously decided to give conditional approval to the plan.