The owners of new boarding kennels in Bulkington will have nine months to prove that their fledgling business will not be a nuisance to those living nearby.
Nuneaton and Bedworth Borough Council’s environmental health team had recommended granting temporary permission of 14 months but members of the planning committee agreed this was too long when they met on Tuesday.
As part of the plans for Four Acres Stud, Coventry Road, insulation will be added to the walls of the 23 kennels, some of which will house up to eight dogs. Councillors were also told that there will be 16 car parking spaces.
A report prepared by planning officers explained that a noise management plan would be drawn up to deal with dogs barking when outside and it added that tests carried out by environmental health officers found that barking from the applicant’s dogs when placed in the kennels could only be heard faintly from the boundary of the property.
But members of the planning committee were unconvinced with Cllr Richard Smith (Con, Bulkington) saying there had been complaints about the site in the past and that the noise of 20 dogs in the middle of the night would be more of a nuisance than the noise experienced by the environmental health officer.
Cllr Keith Kondakor (Green, Weddington) suggested shortening the temporary period.
He said: “It looks the wrong sort of thing in the green belt and considering that Cllr Smith has already said that the site has had problems, I am very loathe to approve it for 14 months given all the problems we can have kennels with no staff on site.”
Cllr Scott Harbison (Con, Wem Brook) added: “On a technical point, if you have ten dachshunds barking at the same time that’s one matter - if you have ten dobermans barking at the same time you have a completely different ball game. Everyone knows how bass travels, big dogs will create more bass.”
Committee chairman Cllr Lubs Cvetkovic (Con, Bulkington) called for regular testing at the site both during the day and night.
He added: “I think what we have underestimated is how far sound travels at night. You can hear the sound of someone walking with the clinking of change in their pockets from 100m away. I remember this very clearly from my military days.
“If you start having several dogs barking at night we are going to have some very unhappy residents. As well as trying to encourage businesses there has to be a balance in all things that we do and we need to think very carefully about how we support those residents.
“If you are a neighbour then six months is an awfully long time - nine months even longer and 12 months will feel like an eternity.”