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Newport farm owner wins appeal for new dog training facility

The Civic Centre in Newport (Pic: Google)

A FARM owner has won a legal battle to open a dog training facility on her land on the outskirts of Newport.

The city council had originally refused change-of-use planning permission for Samira Marciano to convert one of her fields into the outdoor facility, which would house an obstacle course for trainers to teach their dogs in the village of Langstone.

But a Welsh Government-appointed inspector has sided with the applicant after she appealed against the council’s decision and argued, via an agent, the rejection of her “small-scale” proposal on road safety grounds was “unreasonable”.

In refusing planning permission last October, council planners said the dog training facility would “result in the significant intensification of, and increased vehicle manoeuvres” along an access road and “result in an adverse impact on pedestrian and highway safety”.

But Ms Marciano argued the access road was already “established” in serving her property.

She said the dog training facility was intended to be for a “small number of users [who] would be able to exercise their dogs in a safe environment”.

Specifically, one client could use the facility at a time, with up to six dogs in each “exercise session”, according to documents submitted by agents AJ Planning and Development on her behalf.

The planning inspector, Victoria Robinson, said the council’s estimate that the proposal could lead to “120 vehicle movements per day” was “possible” but “highly unlikely”.

“The access road does not have formal passing areas but is wide enough in places to enable two vehicles to pass safely”, she said, adding that the road was “generally straight and due to its limited length, users would be able to see each other in time”.

“It is not likely that vehicle conflicts would result from the proposed development in such a way as to harm highway or pedestrian safety,” the inspector added.

Planning permission has now been granted for the change of use, and the dog training facility can go ahead, with the condition its hours of operation are 8am-6pm Monday to Saturday, and 9am-5pm on Sundays and bank- or public holidays.

Andrew Ayles, the director of AJ Planning who submitted the successful appeal on behalf of the applicant, welcomed the decision of the planning inspector “in recognising that on the planning balance the development proposal is appropriate within its rural location, with no recognisable adverse impact in terms of highway and/or any neighbouring land use”.