PLANS to use a detached bungalow as a dog board kennel have been rejected.

Durham County Council’s north area planning committee was recommended by officers to refuse the retrospective application for a property in Newfield Road, Newfield, near Chester-le-Street.

The bungalow’s owners wanted official approval to look after up to six dogs – they have three dogs of their own.

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The business, which councilors were told started as a labour of love, has been operating for about four years and was recently inspected by officers from Durham County Council's environmental health department, following a complaint about noise. The council's environmental health department and three neighbours lodged objections, citing problems with noise from dogs barking as well as parking issues.

One neighbor, Steven Hann, told the committee that the sound of barking could be “absolutely disturbing" but the sound of dogs whining and crying in the garden was “distressing’’.

He said the noise affected two other neighbours, women aged 94 and 84.

Local councilor Jim Cordon said he supported small businesses but a residential area was not suitable for this business.

And he said the elderly neighbours deserved to enjoy their homes in peace and tranquility.

Planning officials told councilors that the business had so far not created a statutory nuisance but there were concerns that problems could arise in the future.