IT NEARLY came to blows last time and emotions are already being tested as the planning application for kennels in Fobbing Road, Corringham return to the planning committee this week (Thursday Feb 14th).
Emotions spilled over to such an extent in the public gallery last year (October) that a security guard had to be called in.
The whole issue first came to light in June 2011 when residents made a complaint regarding noise coming from 74 Fobbing Road, the home of Kynite Boarding kennels.
YT understands that at this point, the council discovered that there were kennels there that had been built without planning permission. In September 2011, planning permission was tabled. Due to a number of bureaucratic barriers, the application was re-submitted in September 2012.
It was refused and an enforcement notice was put in place.
Now the planning application is back on the table and this time it is recommended for approval.
A number of eyebrows have been raised that approval has been recommended based on very special circumstances.
Planning officers report:
“Whilst the kennel building represents inappropriate development, the removal of existing lawful structures and the spoil heap are considered in this instance to represent Very Special Circumstances for the retention of the kennel addition to these structures, the applicant proposes to remove a spoil heap building.
“The benefit that would be gained to the openness and character of the Green Belt from the removal of these structures and the spoil heap is considered to outweigh the harm caused by the erection of the kennels building in this instance.
“The proposal is therefore considered to be a justifiable exception to Green Belt policy PMD6 in this instance and due to the very special circumstances put forward by the Applicant.”
A spokesperson for the residents on Fobbing Road has detailed their objection.
“Our main objections are that it appears that Thurrock Council do not appear to be applying planning application processes and procedures fairly and consistently at all.
“There seems to have been bias in favour of the applicant in a number of ways. Our rights and needs are being ignored. We are many people and they are one family. The development is in a residential area.
“The kennels were built without permission in green belt over two years ago and three applications later have now recommended it be approved after refusing it on the grounds previously that it did not satisfy very special circumstances.
“The only material change now is that it will not trade as a boarding kennel but all dogs, fee-paying or otherwise make the same noise. 12 noisy dogs are 12 noisy dogs.
“The application does not include any credible safeguards for us in terms of noise. The proposed acoustic screen is ridiculous and we cannot see how it will work. If it is a miraculous invention, dogs have to be exercised outside of the screened kennels several times a day.
“As for the process: a petition consisting of 50 names was lost by the council and by the time this was discovered it was too late.
“The latest objections have not been processed properly. Objectors have not had letters of acknowledgement, not all letters have been posted on the portal, information included in the objections has been missed off (maps) and anyone lucky enough to have received notification has been given 36 hours of notice within working days to agree and prepare a statement in objection. ie. letters received Sat lunch and a statement must be sent to Dem Services by Tuesday at noon.
“It is clearly being rushed through perhaps to avoid the Planning Inspectorate hearing the case as planned in March 2013.
YT is planning to the owners of the kennels to see how they view their application.