Wickford kennel and cattery to become an industrial site

Essex councilors have approved plans to turn an animal boarding house into industrial buildings, despite concerns over its location in the greenbelt and at the end of a residential street.

Basildon Borough Council’s Planning Committee has approved a term sheet for the application to replace Sirocoby Boarding Kennels in Newhouse Avenue, Wickford, with a mixed-use development of retail, storage and industrial processes last night (August 17).

The site, which currently has 96 kennels, will be open from 8 a.m. to 7 p.m., Monday through Friday.

Some councilors criticized the scheme, warning that an industrial development in the green belt and in a residential area was inappropriate and would negatively impact neighbours.

The applicant, listed as ‘J Jolly’ on the council’s planning website, also proposed plans for open storage, i.e. the storage of goods outside a building or container, on site.

It would have been over 150 square meters and up to 4 meters high, but was blocked by one of the conditions.

The claimant’s solicitor, named at the meeting as Mr Dadd, said there was now “a great deal of agreement” between counsel and his client over the terms.

But he said the open storage would result in a net reduction of the site by at least 400 square meters compared to what is currently on the site.

He said: “It is something that is needed as my client sees it in relation to the pet food business.

“The site is surrounded by a very large hedge of mature conifers, five to six meters high.

“My suggestion is this reasonable under all circumstances given what is on offer in terms of use.”

The committee voted against the officers’ recommendation to refuse planning permission last month, meaning the application had to be deferred and the list of conditions drawn up. It was also previously postponed by the committee in February 2022.

Ward Councilor Terri Sargent (Con, Crouch) appeared before the committee to voice her criticism of the project’s greenbelt location and its potential effect on residents.

She said: “I am absolutely disgusted that this has returned to its current form, that it is just being considered on conditions and that we are setting up a commercial enterprise in a residential area, and I feel absolutely upset for the people who got there. to live in. »

Councilor Craig Rimmer (Con, Pitsea South East) also criticized the plans for open storage, but said he supported the agents’ conditions.

He said, “It’s like a rabbit out of a hat. This wasn’t part of the original plans that were presented, so I’ll just follow the officer on this one.

Other conditions include the restriction of construction and demolition hours to 8:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m., Monday to Friday, and 8:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. on Saturdays, and sustainable parking areas are demarcated before the development is occupied to free up the off-street parking.

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