To receive and consider the attached report of the Chief Planning Officer regarding an application for the change of use of land (Paddock and Woodland) to outdoor pet recreation and exercise facility; erection of fencing at Annexe
The report of the Chief Planning Officer presented an application for the change of use of lad (Paddock and Woodland) to outdoor pet recreation and exercise facility; erection of fencing at Annexe, Carr Farm Cottage, 74 Carr Road, Calverley, Pudsey, LS28 5QR.
The application had been considered by the Panel at the meeting in February 2022 when the application had been deferred for further consideration. Members had visited the site prior to that meeting. Site plans and photographs were displayed and referred to throughout the discussion of the application.
Further issues highlighted included the following:
· The proposals were for an exercise area for dogs.
· The site was in a semi-rural area but adjacent to residential properties.
· It had been reported at the previous meeting that there was no recognised methodology for measuring the noise caused by dogs. Members had expressed concern regarding the impact on neighbours.
· The applicant had proposed to have the following conditions:
o Limiting the number of dogs on site
o A reduction in the proposed hours of use.
o Acoustic fencing along the boundary to 28 Clara Drive.
o No external lighting.
o Provision of an all-weather parking space.
· The applicant was not prepared to remove the woodland area from the application site.
· The noise impact report submitted by objectors at the previous meeting had not been assessed by Environmental Health at the time. Since the last meeting, Environmental Health had been consulted. Although there was no recognised methodology to measure noise from dogs, there was agreement with the conclusions outlined in the report.
· Environmental Health had visited the site and had reported that there would be damage to resident’s amenity, and it was recommended that the application should be refused.
· A further objection had been made regarding development within the greenbelt. It was not considered that the proposals would cause harm to the greenbelt and the application would not be refused on these grounds.
The applicant addressed the Panel. The following was highlighted:
· There was disappointment at the recommendation to refuse the application. The noise report was not independent and based on speculation and guesswork. It did not take account of the hedges and trees which would baffle the sounds and did not mention the addition of acoustic fencing.
· The Environmental Health report did not consider the extra mitigation measures and was inaccurate with regard to comments regarding unsupervised dogs.
· The number of dogs stated was a maximum number. This kind of facility would usually be used by one dog owner at a time with only one or two dogs. The field would be rented by the hour and there was no benefit in having large groups.
· The proposals would see the use of a neglected piece of land whilst providing a service that was badly needed in the area.
· It had been hoped to work closely with neighbours but this had not been possible due to the level of objections.
· In response to a question, it was confirmed that there would not be any dogs staying overnight.
A local resident addressed the Panel with objections to the application. These included the following:
· A comprehensive noise impact assessment was carried out following the meeting in February. Measurements had been taken at different distance from the nearest residential property and noise levels breached guidelines.
· Environmental Health had confirmed that noise pollution from the site could not be mitigated.
· There were only four letters of support for the application from Calverley residents but fifty-five objections.
· An alternative site could be used which would not breach planning guidance and disturb residents.
· It was requested that the application be refused in line with the officer recommendation.
· In response to questions from the Panel, the following was discussed:
o The noise measurements were made by an independent contractor using replicated noises that a dog would make.
It was suggested that an amendment to the recommendation could be made to give approval for a period of 12 months to allow noise from the facility to be monitored. A motion was made to reflect this amendment and a motion was also made to approve the officer recommendation.
Following a vote on the amended recommendation, it was:
RESOLVED – That approval be granted for a period of 12 months to allow monitoring of any possible nuisance from dogs.
It was requested that a report be brought to either Joint Plans Panel or Development Panel as an outcome of this application to enable Members to have a better understanding of the issues raised with this application. It was reported that there were difficulties with this application initially as there was no response from Environmental Health. Specialist guidance would normally have been made available.