PLANS lodged with Darlington Borough Council propose to transform a site on Staindrop Road into a premium dog day care facility with secure exercise field, play park and associated ‘dog taxi’ service.

Having previously operated as a cat and dog boarding facility, the plans detail the conversion of buildings into suites of day care lounges, along with a newly built indoor play barn and office building.

A section of adjacent farmland will also be securely fenced to provide a safe area for dogs to be freely exercised.

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Documents submitted by Matt Bell of The Dog Barn, state that the business will operate five days a week from 7.30am until 5.30pm and will likely create between eight and 12 jobs.

Matt Bell said: “This purpose-designed site aims to provide the dog owners of Darlington and surrounding areas with high-quality care and enrichment for their pets, as well as employment opportunities for experienced dog care professionals.

“The enclosed field will provide a fully secure environment for dogs to enjoy off-lead exercise, with the indoor play barn also available for poor weather or for specific training activities.”

“We are excited at the thought of developing this new facility. It will turn a rundown site into a smart and sought-after local service and provide some great jobs for local people .”

A supporting statement submitted with the application explains that dogs will be kept in small social groups depending on breed, age and temperament.

They will be exercised twice per day in the secure spaces and housed in one of several day care lounges which will provide both sleeping and playing areas.

A ‘dog taxi’ service will also operate from the site to minimise additional traffic and to help meet the needs of customers.

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The proposal also includes the planting of more than 350 metres of hedging, around 100 new trees and the establishment of a wildflower meadow.

The full application and accompanying documents can be viewed via Darlington Borough Council’s online planning portal, searching for reference 23/00363/FUL.

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