Kennels 'faces closure' over council planning row

PUBLISHED: 18:53 07 October 2019 | UPDATED: 18:53 07 October 2019

Georgia (right) and Toby Cart, and Thea Downing with some of their charges at The Dog House.    Picture: MARK ATHERTON

Georgia (right) and Toby Cart, and Thea Downing with some of their charges at The Dog House. Picture: MARK ATHERTON

Archant

A dog kennel business faces closure unless it is allowed to continue operating out of a business park in Clevedon.

Toby and Georgia Cart with Thea Downing and some of their charges at The Dog House.    Picture: MARK ATHERTONToby and Georgia Cart with Thea Downing and some of their charges at The Dog House. Picture: MARK ATHERTON

Cart's In The Dog House opened last summer at Tweed Road Industrial Estate but faces an uncertain future.

North Somerset Council in March refused to grant planning permission retrospectively for a change of use to the business unit, allowing the kennels to operate there.

The firm is appealing against that decision.

Georgia Cart, who helped set up the business last year, said: "It's extremely important we get the permission. It's my livelihood."

Georgia says it looks after many dogs for people who work all day as the animals could not cope being at home alone for eight to 10 hours a day.

She added: "I didn't expect this (planning application issue). If refused, I can't run the business and I would have to close it."

The industrial estate is designated for certain business types and North Somerset Council feels the dog care firm does not fit that brief.

In its rejection of Cart's In The Dog House's application in the spring, council planning officer said to allow it would lead to 'unacceptably harming the range and quality of units available for employment uses'.

The company is challenging that decision, saying it will soon be able to offer more job opportunities than the previous tenant did when a storage warehouse operated from the unit.

College students train at the centre and Georgia hopes to take on some of them in the future.

But the council will fight the appeal when it is heard by a planning inspector in the months ahead. A date for it is yet to be set.

The council argues it needs to do all it can to prevent people commuting out of Clevedon to find work.

In its statement to be put before that future hearing, the council said: "The retention of the dog kennel use within the business premises would result in an existing business unit being lost for such development."

Clevedon Town Council supports the opposition to the change of business use, having previously raised concerns that barking dogs could affect nearby businesses.

Georgia says her customers would be 'stuffed' with no alternatives in Clevedon, if it closes.

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