Dog trainer Jacquie Hall has paws to celebrate after objectors fearing constant barking from her four-legged friends have been silenced.
Despite vocal opposition from residents, councillors have backed Jacquie’s plans to relocate her Northumberland business from its base in Rennington near Alnwick.
Spending more than £50,000, the trainer will move the Nothumberland Canine Centre along with its 45 furry clients to a site in West Moor, Felton, with the surrounding area used as an outdoor training facility.
But the move faced opposition from 13 residents, later supported by Thirston Parish Council, claiming the centre would lead to unwanted noise from dogs barking and odour from dog mess, along with increased traffic from pet owners visiting the centre.
Highlighting the views of some residents, county planning consultant Tony Woodcock said: “The residents’ views are that it is an inappropriate location.
“They are not just talking about canine training. They are talking about training of difficult dogs.”
Yet, along with the concerns, Jacquie’s planning application drew three times as many letters of support for what she is trying to do. Having run the centre from Lee Moor Business Park in Rennington for the past 12 years, her business had outgrown the property and she needed to find new premises.
At a meeting of Northumberland County Council’s planning committee, councillors backed the plan – subject to conditions.
Jacquie said: “It was recommended for approval and, despite the opposition, it was approved unanimously, which is fantastic news.
“I wrote letters to those with concerns and invited them to visit my current premises to see what we do, but I also had a lot of letters of encouragement and support from people who use the centre.
“I fully understand their worries and sympathised. I know people don’t like new developments on their doorsteps and tried to allay their fears.
“I have now handed in notice on my existing lease and am starting the work to build the centre, which will cost about £50,000 and will hopefully be open by February next year.
“I’m looking forward to great things.”