New kennel goes before council
PERFORMING police dogs could be the latest tourist attraction on the Granite Belt after an application to run a kennel with daily shows for the public went before council this week.
When the application for 335 Church Road at The Summit went before the Planning and Environment Committee meeting at council on Tuesday, there was some confusion over exactly what was being proposed.
Further confusion ensued when Cr Denise Ingram brought up the fact she had seen two advertisements in the Stanthorpe Border Post asking for dog show helpers, animal handlers and customer service casuals.
The applicant not only applied to house the dogs – less than nine at a time – but to breed and train german shepherds for law enforcement, with sessions open to audiences.
The two-part application was described as “unusual” because of the combination of breeding and tourist entertainment.
The business proposed public viewings up to three times a day, seven days a week.
Councillors did not feel the application detailed enough about the potential dog shows despite being confident about the applicant’s professionalism.
They also questioned the state of the existing building on the site proposed for the kennels.
Southern Downs Regional Council Mayor Ron Bellingham said while he was happy for the operation to go ahead, he didn’t think the current building was appropriate.
“Their ambitions are admirable and that’s fine but we really don’t need this derelict building as a part of our tourist industry,” he said.
“Is there a condition about the appearance, is there power to say these buildings need to be re-sheeted minimum.”
Cr Neil Meiklejohn said he was happy with the inside of the building but the outside needed work.
“I suppose there are plenty of dogs living in a lot worse than that,” he said.
Local residents voiced concerns about additional noise through letters to the council.
“It seems the proposer has gone to some effort to try and minimise the noise level but he has not lived there yet so he might not understand the impact of this plans,” they wrote.
“As well as this, the bush is teeming with wildlife; this is what sets the animals off.
“Although the proposer has stated the dogs will bark on command, he can’t stop the dogs getting upset from the natural inhabitants and being housed in a timber shed at night is not going to stop them sensing the wildlife outside.”
“Our other concern is that, what happens in the future if the proposer’s business plan is not successful and he sells up, can the next people turn it into a boarding kennels or similar because there is kennels built and council has amended zoning laws?”
Another local also objected to the prospective kennel said the one already located in the area was enough.
“We really do not need another,” they wrote. “Our local dog population seems about right and I am not awoken by dogs.”
Cr Mally McMurtie said she thought the barking would be the first issue addressed in training the dogs as therefore should not be a problem.
“If they can’t train them not to bark, they have Buckley’s,” she said.
The issue was deferred in order collect further information about the tourist and showing aspect of the business.