A DOG lover has won his appeal against a council enforcement notice requiring him to stop using a stable building as kennels.

Kevin Knox of Barrons Way, Burnhope, near Stanley, had appealed against a decision by Derwentside District Council, which went against the recommendations of their planning officers.

Councillors refused retrospective planning permission to change the use of the stables to kennels, on the grounds that it would result in a noise nuisance.

But Government inspector David Pinner, who visited the site, said in his findings: "I saw only small dogs and puppies.

"They made no noise as I stood outside the building. Even as I entered they made no noise, until coaxed. Even then the noise was minimal and not sustained."

Mr Pinner noted that the stables had been used as a kennels for two years, without any complaint and the council's reasons for objection on noise grounds were unsubstantiated by any evidence.

He said that other legislation existed to control noise nuisance and the number of dogs that were kept in the kennels.