Councillors ‘were intimidated’

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The behaviour of objecting residents resulted in plans for a dog kennels and training business being rejected, it has been claimed.

Dog trainer Paul Sims was seeking permission for a grooming parlour and kennels, which would allow up to 13 dogs to be boarded on land he owns in Boxford.

However, Babergh District Council’s development committee refused the proposals for a site in Stone Street yesterday.

After discussing the plans, members ruled that Mr Sims’ plans for his business, Simbo’s Gun Dogs and Grooming, would have a detrimental impact on residents living in the area. They also said the applicant had not done enough to address issues which had led to the proposals being rejected a year ago.

“The development would affect amenities, residents and the conservation area,” said Peter Beer, chairman of the committee, who was speaking outside the meeting.

Mr Beer said around 14 people from Boxford had attended the meeting who were all against the plans, which included putting in a black log cabin for overseeing dog training and breeding.

Prior to the meeting, the council had received numerous letters of objection citing fears about an increase in traffic in Stone Street, the impact of light pollution from the business and the potential health implications from dog waste in the area.

There was also anger that Mr Sims had started the business last year without permission and had placed a mobile home on the land.

Mr Sims, who has 30 years’ experience training dogs, said he was “disappointed” by the outcome.

“I was surprised by the turn out of locals and I felt they were very rude talking over councillors,” he said.

“I think some councillors were intimated by them.”

Mr Sims added that trained dogs could be kept quiet by a clap of a hand, and gun shots were not needed. He also said he had been told he could move on to the site and was likely to appeal against the decision.

“I think there was some lack of knowledge about dogs from councillors and, although it is a blow, I think it is the right site and it is worth appealing,” he said.

Bryn Hurren, district councillor for Boxford, said he was pleased for the nearby residents that the development had been refused.

“The plans were massively turned down and residents were out in force,” he said.

“It is an illegal development and had been refused before.”

Mr Hurren said there were just too many serious issues surrounding the plans.

“The kennels would be incontrollable and are right next to residents who have lived there for up to 40 years and have never done anything wrong,” he added.

The proposals, which had been recommended for approval, were rejected by a majority verdict.