Row brewing over bid to relocate Northumberland dog centre

The Northumberland Canine Centre has lodged an application to move to a new site in Felton, but residents are objecting to the proposal

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A row is brewing over a bid to relocate a Northumberland dog centre - with homeowners fearing barking dogs will make their lives a misery.

The Northumberland Canine Centre is seeking planning approval to move from its base at Rennington near Alnwick to a site near Felton.

However 13 residents near the proposed site have objected along with the local parish council, claiming the presence of the centre would lead to unwanted noise from barking dogs.

The centre has three times the number of letters of support and council officers are also advising permission be granted at a meeting next week.

The application has been submitted to Northumberland County Council by Jacquie Hall, of Chathill, who has run the centre at Lee Moor Business Park at Rennington for the last dozen years.

It is home to the North Northumberland Dog Training Club, a non-profit organisation with 45 members.

However, she recently decided to seek new premises having outgrown the site and advertised for a new location.

The site at West Moor near Felton came up and Miss Hall is now seeking planning permission to erect a shed to use for dog training with use of surrounding land as an outdoor training facility, as well as parking. Thirston Parish Council has objected along with 13 residents.

Concerns have been voiced over noise from barking dogs and odour from dog waste, alongside issues like light pollution, increased traffic, the visual impact of the shed and flood risk.

Seven objecting families are being represented by county planning consultant Tony Woodcock.

He said last night: “The residents’ views are that it is an inappropriate location.

“It is an area where there are horses and other dogs which are likely to be effected by the proposal.

“They are not just talking about canine training. They are talking about training of difficult dogs.

“They are talking about having exercise areas outside which seems inappropriate.”

Miss Hall’s application has received 39 letters of support with county council planning officers recommending approval when it is determined by the North area planning committee next Thursday.

The applicant, who will be speaking at the meeting, last night said the shed is large but “low” and that the planned training area had been moved further from people’s homes in a bid to address their concerns.

She said dog mess would be picked up and claimed animals are taught not to bark during training but that she could not help if it they “get a little excited and bark” while outdoors.

Miss Hall said county highways officers had no concerns over traffic.

She added: “If I thought I was going to be disrupting anybody’s lives I would be mortified.

“I never ever dreamt this would cause such a furore. It has been astonishing quite frankly.”

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