By John Baron
Controversial plans for a new dog exercise park in Calverley have been granted temporary planning permission by councillors today.
Applicant Nikki Goodall wants to use an area of land behind Carr Farm Cottage, on Carr Road, as an outdoor pet recreation and exercise facility.
She wants to create a paddock area with rustic wooden post and rail fencing. The proposed exercise area would open from 8am until 8pm Monday to Saturday and 9am to 4pm on Sundays.
The plans were originally recommended for approval by planning officers in February, but the final decision was deferred by councillors following concerns there had been no report from environmental health officers.
The application came back before councillors on the south and west plans panel today, detailing objections on noise grounds from environmental health officers.
Planning officers recommended the plans should be refused. But councillors meeting in the Civic Hall this afternoon (Thursday) agreed to an amendment giving the applicant temporary planning permission for 12 months, subject to installing a number of noise management measures – including an acoustic fence and planting – and other conditions.
There had been 49 representations of support and 55 objections to the proposals, with opponents claiming opposition to the proposals came from within the village, and most of the support from people outside Calverley.
Concerns included increased levels of noise and disturbance and extra traffic, while supporters said there is a need for safe and secure space to exercise dogs in Calverley.
Cllr Andrew Carter (Cons, Calverley & Farsley) also objected, saying the dog park would be too close to properties on Clara Drive.
A planning officer’s report considered today said the applicant had addressed some of the points following February’s meeting, but recommended refusal due to noise concerns from environmental health officers.
Applicant Ms Goodall told the meeting that the dog park had started as a small idea which wasn’t overly commercialised. A neighbour said they had employed a barrister to carry out an independent noise assessment, which had backed the findings of the council’s environmental health report.
The applicant previously said said staffing levels would be two full-time and one part-time member of staff. A pre-booking system would also be in operation, and there should be intervals between each booking, to allow the previous customer to vacate the site, as well as a cap on the number of dogs in the paddock at any one time.