Amended plans for a north Pembrokeshire dog exercise field, previously refused following a lengthy debate on the noise from barking dogs, have also been turned down.
In May, Pembrokeshire County Council’s planning committee narrowly refused a retrospective application by Mr and Mrs George for a change of use of a field to a dog exercising field, and associated works, at Ffynnone Dog Field, near the village of Newchapel.
That application had been recommended for refusal on grounds including harm to the amenity of neighbouring properties from the noise of barking dogs, and the development was located outside of any settlement boundaries as identified within the Local Development Plan.
Local community council Manordeifi had objected to the application, with a string of reasons, including road safety concerns connected with access to the site, noise of barking dogs, a lack of consultation over the plans, emotional distress to residents, and even “verbal altercations between users of the park and residents”.
The previous application heard concerns from the council’s pollution control team, with 53 recordings of barking dogs from the site cited, the applicants’ agent Wyn Harries arguing the noise came from residents’ pets, not the site.
Amendments in the new application, considered by the October planning committee, included tree planting for screening and 2.4-metre-high fencing, and that a porta-loo would be installed in the field, along with a new access, parking and turning areas, to address road safety concerns.
The new application has been accompanied by a noise assessment report and noise management plan, in an attempt to address a previous bone of contention.
However, the council’s Head of Housing and Public Protection considers that noise assessment methodology to be flawed, a report for members said.
Speaking at the October meeting, agent Wyn Harries, of Harries Planning Design Management, said issues surrounding the scheme – in particular reported noise of dogs barking – had created “huge animosity,” with some local people not talking to each other.
He said residents concerned at the previous application had been asked to film dogs and users on site, adding: “That’s when it became nasty.”
Officers said the ‘filming’ related to advice that residents could use smartphones and tablets rather than available sound recording equipment.
Speaking on behalf of residents objecting to the application, Jake Rainsbury said: “This business is in the wrong location, there is a significant noise factor. It’s causing a massive issue to everybody living next to it, the applicant does not live next to the development and is totally unaffected by it.”
He added: “Residents have been abused in person and online; people have been abused simply walking past this development, community councillors have faced personal insult from users of this site.”
Local member Cllr Iwan Ward said the applicants’ idea of farm diversification by creating a dog park was “a good idea,” but felt it was in the wrong location.
“I would fully support this venture if it was moved to a different location, this is especially for the safety and wellbeing of the residents of Newchapel.”
Moving refusal, Councillor Brian Hall said he hoped some work could be done by the applicant to find an alternative site.
The application was unanimously refused.