PLANS to create a day care facility for dogs in a Chester village have been given the green light.

The change of use application for the existing Footgolf building at Mollington Grange Business Park in Parkgate Road has been approved by Cheshire West and Chester Council on a 12-month trial basis.

As part of the conditions for granting planning permission, there should not be more than eight dogs on the site at any one time.

The facility can only open between the hours of 8am and 6pm, Monday to Friday, excluding public holidays.

The council says limiting planning consent to a 12-month period will enable it to monitor the impact of any noise on neighbouring amenities, including an adjoining care home.

The proposal, put forward by L Bell, will see the building – originally used as the Footgolf reception – reconfigured to include a staff area, reception, and internal play area for dogs.

The building is a timber clad, prefabricated, flat-roofed structure with glazing to the majority of the west elevation.

Ward member Councillor Simon Eardley raised concerns in respect of noise impacts on residents and inappropriate development in the Green Belt, while the parish council said a condition should be included to ensure the building is reverted to a sporting facility or removed if the use fails.

A total of 11 comments on the application were received of which one was in support of the change of use.

CPRE – the countryside charity – objected to the proposal citing inappropriate development within the Green Belt, specifically because the building currently has a condition on it requiring it to be removed should the ‘footgolf’ use fail.

They also raised concerns over noise due to the proposed site being situated next to Oak Grange Care Home.

In recommending approval, case officer Edward Shepherd said the purpose of the condition requiring the building to be demolished within two months of the footgolf use ceasing was to ensure that if it became disused its removal could be secured.

He said planning policy encourages the reuse of buildings, particularly for economic purposes.

Mr Shepherd concluded in his report: "In this instance, the building is of permanent and substantial construction and the reuse/retention would not cause harm to the openness of the Green Belt.

"The use would provide a small economic and social benefit and would constitute an acceptable proposal which does not constitute inappropriate development.

"It is recommended that a condition is imposed requiring the building and associated structures to be removed once the temporary permission expires. This may later be superseded by a further grant of planning permission.

"Due to noise mitigation being reliant on good management there is insufficient evidence to demonstrate satisfactorily that the noise impacts will be acceptable in the long term, but it is considered that granting permission for a temporary period of 12 months would be appropriate, subject to conditions limiting the number of dogs and hours of use.

"This will ensure that the use would not give rise to any significant adverse impacts on health and quality of life and would safeguard the quality of life for residents within the development and those living nearby."