The Chairman introduced application number 143301, change of use of agricultural land to dog exercising park on land to the West of Reepham Village Hall, Hawthorn Road, Reepham. It was explained that this application had been deferred from the previous meeting in order to seek additional information regarding hours of use and maximum numbers of users. This had been clarified with the applicant and the proposed conditions had been updated to reflect the additional information.
The Chairman advised there was one registered speaker, Mr Gary Brader, who had submitted a statement to be read on his behalf. The Democratic and Civic Officer read aloud the following statement.
I strongly object to this application as I can see no reason for a dog exercise area at this location. There are lots of public footpaths available and areas away from the roads including the very near by old airfield with public access. Where many dog owners already go! I can see only one reason for this application, it is so the land owner can change the land use from agricultural to leisure and then in a years time or whatever an application for building planning will be submitted. They are going in through the back door on this one very devious indeed. If this planning is granted it will result in more traffic on an already very busy road and also spoil the view of the houses opposite not to mention reduce future property value particularly for those opposite. This is a this stupid and not needed planning request! I would very much like to hear the applicant’s reasons for this idea and an honest answer would be nice! I look forward to your reply.
Thank you for your time with my email. Very sorry and disappointed I am unable to attend this meeting.”
The Chairman thanked the Democratic Services Officer and invited any comments from the Senior Development Management Officer. He clarified that the application was for change of use from agricultural to a dog exercising park and any future changes would be assessed at that time.
On opening discussions for the Committee, there were concerns raised from Members regarding the number of parking spaces at the site in relation to the maximum numbers of dogs permitted. It was noted that users of the site may park on Hawthorn Road, which, as a busy road, could cause safety concerns. It was highlighted that there had been no objections to the application from the Highways Agency.
In response to a query as to whether the land would be returned to agricultural use should the proposed dog exercise site not be successful, Members were directed to condition eight which stated the land must be returned to agricultural use within six months of the exercise park closing.
Members reiterated previous concerns regarding the need for such a venture as well as potential noise issues with numbers of dogs. The Legal Adviser highlighted that there were other statutory regimes to deal with any issues that arose such as noise complaints and Environmental Health had not raised any objections; additionally the need for the proposal was not a material consideration.
Note: Councillor I. Fleetwood made a non-pecuniary declaration in that he had attended meetings at the Reepham Village Hall and, whilst it was not stated the carpark would be used by those visiting the site, he wished to be transparent in his declarations.
The Principal Development Management officer highlighted that the Committee could suggest that additional parking provision be conditioned in the application, however, as no issues had been raised by the statutory consultees, there would need to be sufficient justification.
With Committee Members reaching the close of discussions, and having summarised the application and concerns raised within the meeting, in the absence of a proposer, the Chairman moved the printed recommendation from the Chair. It was duly seconded and, on taking the vote with a majority of one vote, it was agreed that permission be GRANTED subject to the following conditions.
Conditions stating the time by which the development must be commenced:
1. The development hereby permitted must be begun before the expiration of three years from the date of this permission.
Reason: To conform with Section 91 (1) of the Town and Country Planning Act 1990 (as amended).
Conditions which apply or require matters to be agreed before the development commenced:
Conditions which apply or are to be observed during the course of the development:
2. With the exception of the detailed matters referred to by the conditions of this consent, the development hereby approved must be carried out in accordance with the following drawings:
ST-475/01 Revision A dated 27th October 2021 – Site Plan
The works must be carried out in accordance with the details shown on the approved plans and in any other approved documents forming part of the application.
Reason: To ensure the development proceeds in accordance with the approved plans and to accord with the National Planning Policy Framework and local policy LP17, LP26 and LP55 of the Central Lincolnshire Local Plan 2012-2036.
3. The proposed car park and turning space identified on site plan ST-475/01 Revision A dated 27th October 2021 must be constructed from a permeable material and retained as such thereafter.
Reason: To retain the surface water drainage qualities of the site to accord with the National Planning Policy Framework and local policy LP14 of the Central Lincolnshire Local Plan 2012-2036
Conditions which apply or relate to matters which are to be observed following completion of the development:
4. The dog exercise area and car park must only operate between the hours
· November 1st to the end of February
Monday to Saturday 7am to 7pm and Sunday 8am-7pm
· March 1st to October 31st
Monday to Saturday 7am to 9pm and Sunday 8am to 9pm
Reason: To protect the amenities of nearby properties and the locality to accord with the National Planning Policy Framework and local policy LP26 of the Central Lincolnshire Local Plan 2012-2036.
5. The development must be operated in strict accordance with the following dog numbers allowed on site at any one time:
· a maximum of 3 dogs and their owner(s) before 9am on any day during the approved operational hours in condition 4.
· A maximum of 15 dogs and their owners during any other approved operational hours in condition 4.
Reason: To protect the amenity of nearby and the locality properties from excessive noise disturbance from a large group of dogs to accord with the National Planning Policy Framework and local policy LP26 of the Central Lincolnshire Local Plan 2012-2036.
6. The development must only operate is strict accordance with the Waste/Odour Management Plan received 22nd November 2021.
Reason: To ensure all dog waste is dealt with in an appropriate manner and to stop any odour disturbance from the site on the neighbouring uses to accord with the National Planning Policy Framework and local policy LP26 of the Central Lincolnshire Local Plan 2012-2036.
7. No external lighting must be installed on the site outlined in red on site plan ST-475/01 Revision A dated 27th October 2021.
Reason: To protect the amenities of nearby properties and the locality to accord with the National Planning Policy Framework and local policies LP26 and LP55 of the Central Lincolnshire Local Plan 2012-2036.
8. Within 6 months of the dog exercise business ceasing operation the site must be returned to its former agricultural land use including the removal of all fencing, internal gates and dog bins.
Reason: To revert the site back to its former agricultural use if the dog exercise business ceases to operate to accord with the National Planning Policy Framework and local policies LP26 and LP55 of the Central Lincolnshire Local Plan 2012-2036.