Dog breeder cries foul over planners’ decision

Westwoodside dog breeder Julia Smith, 41, with one of her imported stud dogs Houdini, pictured outside the indoor kennels.  Picture: Liz Mockler E1400LM
Westwoodside dog breeder Julia Smith, 41, with one of her imported stud dogs Houdini, pictured outside the indoor kennels. Picture: Liz Mockler E1400LM

THE UK’s first licensed breeder of a rare dog says she faces being put out of business after planners refused permission for her kennels.

Julia Smith says she now faces having to support her family on benefits following the decision by planning chiefs to reject an application for her to be able sell Coton de Tulears dogs from her home in Westwoodside.

Mrs Smith, of Nethergate, has bred dogs from her home for several years. She had applied for change of use so she could sell Coton de Tulears for up to £1,600 a puppy.

But planners rejected her application after a meeting was told there had been problems with increased noise levels and her home was not suitable for a breeding operation involving up to 30 dogs.

In her impassioned plea, Mrs Smith, told a North Lincolnshiore Council planning meeting that the dogs were the only source of income to support her and her two boys.

The 41-year-old said: “It has taken me years to build these bloodlines, and if permission is refused I will lose everything. I don’t want to rely on benefits.

“Please don’t consider this as a standard business. I have lived here for ten years, and I am putting money into the local economy. The dogs I breed now are not the same sort of dogs that I used to have.”

Mrs Smith said the dogs she bred were very quiet and considered ideal for living in small spaces.

She told the meeting the kennels would have double-skinned walls and double glazing to reduce noise and the animals ‘seldom’ barked.

“The kennel would be in a different place on my three-acre premises, and the dogs won’t be heard outside,” she added.

Mrs Smith said that five of her closest neighbours were supportive of her plans, and pointed out that objections had come from further afield, perhaps from people who could hear the barking, but could not see where it was coming from.

“There are people in the village who seem to keep their dogs outside, with only a metal gate to keep them in, and they bark when people go past,” she said.

Planning permission for an earlier dog breeding business was refused in 2006, and the parish council was concerned that there had been a lack of enforcement action at the time. It objected to the latest application because of the previous set up.

Another objector said the constant yapping made sitting in the garden a ‘harrowing experience’, and it was claimed that noise levels had increased throughout the time that Mrs Smith had lived at the property.

Coun Ron Allcock, ward councillor of Axholme South, said the kennels had caused problems over a number of years.

He added: “There are still a lot of objections and I think it is unacceptable.

“There is still a noise abatement notice in force, and I take the view of the neighbours and support the officers in their recommendation to refuse permission.”

Seven members voted to refuse permission, with one abstention.