Posted: Wed 28th Jun 2023

Dog exercise field plans refused after concerns over animals barking

news.wales / newyddion.cymru
This article is old - Published: Wednesday, Jun 28th, 2023

A dog exercise field, which has been up-and-running for roughly a year, was narrowly refused after a lengthy debate on whose dogs were barking. ‌​‌​‌​​​‍‌​‌​​‌‌‌‍‌​‌‌​​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌‌​​

The May 23 meeting of Pembrokeshire County Council’s planning committee considered a retrospective application by Mr and Mrs George for a change of use of a field to a dog exercising field, and associated works, at Ffynnone Dog Field, near the village of Newchapel. ‌​‌​‌​​​‍‌​‌​​‌‌‌‍‌​‌‌​​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌‌​​

The application was recommended for refusal on the grounds the change of use harms the amenity of neighbouring properties from the noise of barking dogs, and is located outside of any settlement boundaries as identified within the Local Development Plan for Pembrokeshire. ‌​‌​‌​​​‍‌​‌​​‌‌‌‍‌​‌‌​​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌‌​​

The business operates seven days a week on a booking-only system, and the field is not designed, or advertised, to be used for commercial dog training or dog classes of any kind, planners heard. ‌​‌​‌​​​‍‌​‌​​‌‌‌‍‌​‌‌​​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌‌​​

Local community council Manordeifi has objected to the application, with a string of reasons, including road safety concerns connected with access to the site, noise of barking dogs, a lack of consultation over the plans, emotional distress to residents, and even “Verbal altercations between users of the park and residents”. ‌​‌​‌​​​‍‌​‌​​‌‌‌‍‌​‌‌​​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌‌​​

One particular bone of contention was the noise of barking dogs. ‌​‌​‌​​​‍‌​‌​​‌‌‌‍‌​‌‌​​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌‌​​

A report for planners raised concerns from the council’s pollution control team, with 53 recordings of barking dogs from the site cited. ‌​‌​‌​​​‍‌​‌​​‌‌‌‍‌​‌‌​​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌‌​​

The committee later heard the 53 recordings came from several residents, Mr Harries saying there had been no concerns raised “until this small collective had raised mustered their armaments and changed the view of the officers.” ‌​‌​‌​​​‍‌​‌​​‌‌‌‍‌​‌‌​​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌‌​​

However, agent Wyn Harries, of Harries Planning Design Management, told the committee his own noise recording pointed to the barking coming from residents’ pets, not the site. ‌​‌​‌​​​‍‌​‌​​‌‌‌‍‌​‌‌​​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌‌​​

The committee later heard the 53 recordings came from several residents, Mr Harries saying there had been no concerns raised “until this small collective had raised mustered their armaments and changed the view of the officers”. ‌​‌​‌​​​‍‌​‌​​‌‌‌‍‌​‌‌​​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌‌​​

Speaking on behalf of concerned residents, Ceri Davies said the siting of the park had caused “distress and worry”. ‌​‌​‌​​​‍‌​‌​​‌‌‌‍‌​‌‌​​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌‌​​

He told the committee residents had been subject to verbal abuse from some dog owners, as well as online abuse. ‌​‌​‌​​​‍‌​‌​​‌‌‌‍‌​‌‌​​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌‌​​

Local member Councillor Iwan Ward had proposed a site visit, with Councillor Tony Wilcox suggesting sound levels be recorded. ‌​‌​‌​​​‍‌​‌​​‌‌‌‍‌​‌‌​​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌‌​​

The site visit call was defeated by eight votes to four, a motion for refusal, made by Councillor Brian Hall was backed seven to five; Cllr Hall pointing out that the applicants had a right to appeal the decision. ‌​‌​‌​​​‍‌​‌​​‌‌‌‍‌​‌‌​​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌‌​​

By BBC LDRS ‌​‌​‌​​​‍‌​‌​​‌‌‌‍‌​‌‌​​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌‌​​



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