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Luxury dog kennel plans approved despite fears it will shatter peace at beauty spot

04 Feb 2022 3 minute read
Councillors have given the green light to proposals for dog kennels in Nercwys. Source: Planning document

Liam Randall, local democracy reporter

Plans to create luxury dog boarding kennels have been approved despite fears it will shatter the peace at a beauty spot.

Councillors have given the green light to proposals for a building containing 12 kennels on land next to a house at Brookside in the village of Nercwys, near Mold, and local resident Saskia Webster has said those with concerns have been “fobbed off”.

It comes despite 14 letters of objection being sent in by neighbours, who have raised concerns that the tranquillity of the area will be disturbed by barking dogs.

Worries have also been expressed about the impact it would have on the neighbouring Clwydian Range and Dee Valley Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB).

Speaking at a meeting of Flintshire Council’s planning committee, local resident Saskia Webster accused the local authority of failing to listen to their reservations after the scheme was recommended to go ahead by a senior official.

She said: “We are disappointed to see the planning officer’s report which contains contradictions and important matters which we don’t think have been properly considered.

“Despite reassurance from Flintshire (Council) that they are satisfied, the noise assessment has not been done by a qualified acoustic specialist.

“All interested parties have expressed concern regarding noise and we have been fobbed off by Flintshire since November 2nd.

“If planning is approved, it will have irreversible consequences and a tragic loss of environment for future generations.”

‘Appropriate use’ 

The council’s chief planning officer Andrew Farrow said in a report that the proposed kennels were considered to be “an appropriate use” in a rural area.

He said most visitors to the AONB would be passing through for exercise and leisure purposes, and described the noise impact as “transient”.

He added that the building would be insulated to reduce noise, with the number of dogs at the site strictly limited to 12.

An application has been submitted to Flintshire Council for a small kennel building on land next to a rural home at Brookside, Nercwys. Source: Planning doc

However, Gwernymynydd councillor Andy Hughes told Wednesday’s (February 2, 2022) meeting the level of noise would have a negative impact on residents.

Speaking on behalf of local representative Carolyn Thomas, he said: “People move to this area, which is adjacent to an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty, for tranquillity.

“When you have more than one dog, they become a pack and one can set off others when barking. The volume of noise can be very disturbing.

“I hope all of this will be taken into consideration and you will refuse this application for commercial dog kennels in this unsuitable location.”

In response to the concerns, the council’s cabinet member for planning Chris Bithell said he believed the conditions attached to the application would help to reduce noise.

Cllr Derek Butler also said residents in rural areas would be used to hearing animals.

He said: “We quite often get objections about the noise from farms, including farmyard machinery, animals and from dogs on farms which are used for shepherding purposes.

“All these are in a rural setting and this proposal doesn’t seem to be in conflict with rural practices.”

The proposals were approved by a single vote at the end of the debate, with eight committee members in favour and seven against.

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