Barking complaints could see off planning application
Bruce Sincair, local democracy reporter
An application for a dog exercise field, which has been up-and-running for roughly a year, is expected to be turned down by county planners next week due to disruption caused by barking dogs.
The meeting of Pembrokeshire County Council’s planning committee next week will consider 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 previously due to be heard at the April planning meeting.
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.
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”.
Eight letters of objection to the development have also been received by planners.
One letter of support was received, along with support via the council’s website stating it was a great resource and a safe and secure area to let dogs off their leads.
The report for planners raises concerns from the council’s pollution control team, with 53 recordings of barking dogs from the site cited.
“It has been noted by the Pollution Control Team, that they have received more submissions, but the 53 Noise Apps which have been detailed in the above table have been identified as the most detrimental of incidents where the noise of dogs barking is clearly audible.
“This is considered to be evidence of intermittent but frequent episodes of barking.”
However, Agent Harries Planning Design Management – after conducting its own noise survey – says pollution control concerns are not that clear cut.
“From our on-site analysis of users of the dog field, no noise nuisances could be directly attributed to the dog field with barking being emitted from dogs outside the applicant’s control.
“We acknowledge that by having dogs and owners in the field, it may cause neighbouring dogs to bark.”
The agent is proposing screening to alleviate matters.
The application is 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.
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