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Controversy as kennels get planning permission
7:30am Friday 22nd February 2013 in News
RESIDENTS in Fobbing have hit out at council “bias” after losing a battle to have unlawful dog kennels torn down.
In an angry statement to the council’s planning committee, Christina Pumfrey, of Hawthorns, just off Fobbing Road, said Thurrock Council was “ignoring the rights and needs” of a number of families in a show of “bias” towards one family.
The Housdens, of Fobbing Road, were served with an enforcement notice in September last year to remove a kennel building that was constructed unlawfully, but housed stray and rescue dogs, often on behalf of the council.
At that time, councillors encouraged the Housdens to apply for appropriate permission for the kennels, which had originally been used as a business venture.
The application, put before committee last Thursday, was approved on condition that the kennels are not be used for business.
Ms Pumfrey told the committee more than 50 people had signed a petition and 17 households submitted letters objecting to the plans.
She said: “We cannot understand why the council is not focusing on the obvious planning issues and unbearable noise nuisance that this will cause local residents.
“Logic points to there being bias in favour of the applicant in a number of ways and our rights and needs are being ignored.”
She said the council had already rejected three applications for kennels on the site as they did not meet very special circumstances, adding: “The only material change now is it will not trade as a boarding kennel but all dogs make the same noise.”
Ms Pumfrey described the noise as “unbearable”, “distressing” and “disturbing”.
The enforcement notice was appealed against and put on hold so the issue could be investigated further.
Lee Housden also hit out at the council, saying he wished it had acted earlier to solve the problem. He told the committee: “We are planning to build an acoustic sound barrier, even though there have not been any upheld complaints.
“The unbearable noise that residents state they are hearing is totally untrue.”
Mr Housden also told how he has been working with Thurrock and Havering’s dog warden, the RSPCA and Metropolitan Police to rehome stray and rescue dogs for many years.
He claimed to have found loving homes for 15 council stray dogs since having the enforcement notice served against him.