Boxford dog trainer says sorry for noise

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A DOG trainer has apologised to nearby residents following complaints that he is living and running a business from a field in Boxford – despite being turned down for planning permission.

Paul Sims, who has a dog grooming business called Simbo’s, has put a mobile home on a three-field site in Stone Street. He wants to get planning permission for the home so he can live there and run his business grooming and training gun dogs.

Mr Sims said he had tried to explain to residents what he intends to do with the business at a meeting of the parish council, but claimed no-one was interested.

Mr Sims, who says he has 30 years experience of dog handling and training, said: “First and foremost, I must apologise for any stress caused to my immediate neighbours.

“I would dearly love for anyone to come and have a chat with me if they have any problems.

“I don’t want to cause any trouble and, if they come to talk to me, they will find I am a reasonable person and I want to sort things out.”

He said he was paying council tax and trade waste and was not doing anything illegal. “It’s a difficult situation and one I’ve never found myself in before,” he added.

The district council has since issued an enforcement notice after refusing to grant Mr Sims permission to change the use of the site from horse stables to dog kennels.

A spokeswoman said: “We were made aware that some of these works, most notably the use for dog training and the stationing and occupation of a mobile home, had occurred during the process of the application being determined.

“In response to this, we issued an enforcement notice on April 20. This takes effect on June 4 and requires that, within a period of six months, the use is ceased and the mobile home is removed from the land.”

Mr Sims is still considering whether to appeal Babergh District Council’s decision not to allow him to live and work on the land.