Dog Boarding and Day Care

19th September, 2019 by Acorus

An ever increasingly popular form of diversification and change of use of land and buildings is dog related.  Dog day care and boarding is one area that is seeing an upsurge in demand by both dog owners and landowners alike. A number of companies who offer day care facilities are now looking for premises and land to exercise.

Other uses such as kennels, breeding, training and grooming are also on the rise.

Such uses particularly suit sites that are limited in scale.  Traditional agricultural smallholdings or equine sites with an established use are often ideally suited for such activity.  It is important to consider the suitability of any existing buildings or whether any new buildings are required, the latter being a potential problem in the Green Belt.

In terms of existing buildings, planning permission for a change of use would be necessary in addition to any land changing use for exercising.  In terms of use classes, development related to dogs falls within ‘sui generis’ i.e. does not fall within any particular use class.

One of the main considerations with canine use is noise impact on any neighbouring dwellings.  In a recent appeal case for a change of use from equine to dog breeding, the Inspector concluded that the distance and orientation of nearby buildings were important factors.  However, he placed less emphasis on ‘disturbance and noise’ as the dogs would be familiar with their surroundings potentially resulting in less disturbance and noise.  Disturbance and noise is likely to be greater in the case of day boarding and day care and therefore would be a key consideration.

Access and highways impact would also be important with potential for increased vehicle movements and intensification of an access use.  Using sites with established similar vehicle movements, such as a livery yard, can be of benefit. 

Other considerations may apply depending on the precise nature of your proposal, so please contact your local Acorus office to discuss further.

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