Pet ho­tel is a woof deal for us, say neigh­bours

Sunday Sun - - News - By Ian John­son Re­porter ian.john­son01@reach­

SEAN Brown ab­so­lutely loves dogs.

In fact, he loves them so much he’s turned his fam­ily home into a ‘doggy ho­tel’.

Pet dogs can en­joy a pad­dle in the ‘Pet­ser­cise’ pool be­fore en­joy­ing a snooze in their own pri­vate bed­room.

“We have a one-and-a-half-acre gar­den for them to play in,” boasts Sean proudly. “It gives the dogs a hol­i­day and our fa­cil­i­ties are sec­ond to none.

“We are just giv­ing the dogs a hap­pier stay and the client peace of mind.”

But not ev­ery­one’s tail is wag­ging at his plans to al­low up to a dozen dogs to stay at once.

Pen­sion­ers nearby claim the bark­ing is ru­in­ing their re­tire­ment – and some are hound­ing Gateshead Coun­cil to put the plans in the dog house.

“I think the noise will be hor­ren­dous if there are more dogs,” said neigh­bour Pat Mor­due.

“We thought we re­tired to a quite res­i­den­tial area, not one that has dogs bark­ing and a lot of shout­ing.” She’s not alone. “Our sleep is be­ing dis­turbed by dogs bark­ing at ap­prox­i­mately 5am,” com­plained fel­low pen­sioner An­gela David­son.

“We feel this sit­u­a­tion would only be­come worse as time pro­gresses and more dogs are housed there.”

They are among at least 11 ob­jec- tors de­mand­ing plans to po­ten­tially tre­ble the num­ber of dogs at the ho­tel are axed.

Cur­rently the Win­la­ton firm is al­lowed around four, but needs ret­ro­spec­tive plan­ning per­mis­sion af­ter con­vert­ing part of its de­tached Bar­low Lane base into “high qual­ity” quar­ters for the dogs.

Ob­jec­tors are also wor­ried, among other things, about park­ing is­sues and dog foul­ing. One lo­cal fears that “could lead to an in­crease in bad smells”.

One Bar­low Lane res­i­dent, pen­sioner Anne Cook, com­plained it had been “im­pos­si­ble” to sit in her gar­den dur­ing the sum­mer due to con­stant bark­ing and “whin­ing”.

Ex-rugby pro Sean said he ap­pre­ci­ated some of the con­cerns.

But since open­ing the firm twoand-a-half years ago, he claimed: “In that time we’ve never had any noise com­plaints.

“We have talked to neigh­bours who are right next to us. Over the years we‘ve asked if there has been any bark­ing or dis­rup­tion and they come back happy say­ing they couldn’t hear any­thing.

“I un­der­stand the con­cerns and the feed­back from the ob­jec­tors, but it isn’t a ken­nel, it is home board­ing.”

The busi­ness is pop­u­lar with dog lovers. It has over 500 Face­book fans who have praised the “friendly” staff. One claimed they couldn’t imag­ine the firm not be­ing in their dog’s life.

And to ap­pease lo­cals, Sean’s even of­fered up a raft of guar­an­tees – in­clud­ing mak­ing sure the dogs are bed­ded down by 7pm.

But seem­ingly they are not enough to keep ev­ery­one happy.

“I am gut­ted to think their ap­pli­ca­tion will be al­lowed,” said Billy Smith. “This sort of busi­ness needs to be run from a prop­erty with no neigh­bours.” Some of Sean Brown’s guests en­joy­ing their stay at his Pet­ser­cise ho­tel – but some neigh­bours are un­happy at plans to al­low more dogs to stay

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