PLANS to build a dog shelter on a rural field in St Ouen have been approved, despite being recommended for refusal by the Planning Department.
The majority of the Planning Committee decided that the dog shelter would not cause ‘irreversible harm’ to the existing agricultural land at La Robeline in Rue des Hougues, where applicant Kumiko Orlandini already runs dog-walking and daycare service Koko’s Canines.
The application received five votes in favour and one against.
Ms Orlandini said her business operated between 10am to 2pm five days a week and employed five staff members who were responsible for around 50 dogs each week.
The application was initially recommended for refusal because of its ‘unsustainable location’ in a protected coastal area, according to planning officer Jack Gibbins.
A neighbour who lives near the field also criticised the application and questioned why the field could not be kept as agricultural land.
But committee member Constable Marcus Troy said: ‘This is a fairly inconspicuous application and they are using rural materials [to build the shelter].
‘If they were keeping pigs, people would be complaining about the smell, if they were using tractors, they would be chugging during all hours of the day.
‘I am quite sympathetic of the application as it provides and sustains employment.’
Planning Committee chair Constable Philip Le Sueur said that ‘if the business decides to pack up’ in future, ‘the land could be restored to its original condition’ as agricultural land.
Similarly, Deputy Steve Luce added that the dog shelter would be better suited to La Robeline than to a ‘built up area’.
And Deputy Tom Coles said the short business opening hours were ‘encouraging’ because it meant that neighbours could have the ‘weekends to themselves’.
St Lawrence Constable Deidre Mezbourian also spoke in favour of the application, saying: ‘I have a lot of sympathy for a young person who sets up her own business. I applaud that and wish you the best of luck in the future.’
Constables Le Sueur, Mezbourian, Troy and Deputies Cole and Luce voted in favour, while Constable Kevin Lewis agreed with the officer’s decision on the basis that the application could harm protected coastal land.