Temporary permission for dog kennels pending noise assessment

A dog breeding kennels at a residential property in open countryside in Cumbria was approved retrospectively but only for a temporary period to allow for further assessment of any harm to the living conditions of neighbours through noise disturbance from barking dogs.

A timber kennel building had been constructed in the grounds of the house and barn at the appeal site, housing more than 25 adult dogs and several litters of puppies. The inspector noted the kennel building did not appear to be acoustically insulated. The appellant had carried out a noise assessment in line with a non-adopted council guidance document which the inspector conceded was probably the best methodology to use given the absence of any other locally adopted or national standard. However, the council had a number of concerns with the information submitted in the noise assessment including that although actual noise measurements were found to be lower than the predicted level, there was a lack of qualifying data  present relating to the actual numbers of dogs on site and times when barking episodes took place. 

On balance, the inspector considered that sufficient evidence comprising actual measurement of noise had been submitted and no substantive evidence was before her to suggest that noise from this development was adversely affecting the living conditions of neighbours. She concluded by granting permission on a temporary basis for 12 months for a limited number of dogs to allow for full operational details to be investigated and monitored and any necessary mitigation identified.

An award of costs against the council was refused. The inspector held the council was not unreasonable to give its concerns regarding the suitability of the noise assessment weight in its decision-making and this had not resulted in additional cost to the applicant within the appeal process. 

Inspector: E Symonns; Written representations

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