Bruce’s Doggy Day Care has submitted a change of use application to turn a vacant building and land at Lanes End Farm in Darenth in Dartford, Kent, into a doggy daycare.
If approved, the new facility would have operate on Monday to Friday between 7.30am and 6pm and have the capacity to cater for up to 91 dogs. The centre would cater to pets from the surrounding area including Dartford, Bromley, Chislehurst, Blackheath, Greenwich, Orpington, Sidcup, and Bexley.
The development would have 15 car parking spaces and additional space for a maximum of five buses to collect dogs from their homes, deliver them to the site in the morning, and return them home in the afternoon. The planning statement says Bruce’s standard business model operates with around 80% of dogs arriving at the site on the doggy buses, with the remaining 20% of the dogs dropped off by their owners.
The plans have prompted concerns from Darenth Parish Council amid fears “the sound of up to 90 dogs barking” could disrupt villagers. In a statement it said: “The parish council questions the applicant’s contention that it would provide social and economic benefits that would outweigh the loss of agricultural land.”
It noted that the noise impact assessment submitted in support of the application is “silent on the fact that the application site lies within a valley”.
The parish council said: “With much of the village housing overlooking the site, the sound of up to 90 dogs barking would spread upwards as well as horizontally creating an unacceptable level of noise for residents.”
The council said it was “unable to see how it could be monitored or enforced” and it believes 91 is an “excessive” number of dogs to allow for a site of this size.
In addition, the parish council said it has concerns that if and when an owner stops using the bus service and resorts to car journeys there would be pressure on the on-site parking, which could have an adverse impact on the already busy Darenth Hill, Green Street Green junction.
The parish council has asked that, should the application be approved, a condition be imposed to stress that the hours of business be as stated with the overnight boarding of dogs “strictly prohibited”.