Plans for new pet grooming parlour in Waterlooville are approved despite fears over 'hazardous' dog barking

A COUNCILLOR has criticised plans for a pet grooming parlour over ‘hazardous’ dog barking.

By Toby Paine
Tuesday, 19th April 2022, 12:30 pm

Plans for a dog grooming parlour, located in a residential property in Fabian Close, Waterlooville, were approved by Havant Borough Council.

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The proposals attracted criticism from neighbours and councillor Gwen Robinson over potential noise disturbance and increased traffic.

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A barking dog. Photo: Ethan Hyman

‘In this instance and for this type of business I do not believe that this is conducive to a harmonious neighbourly environment,’ she said.

‘When noise reaches above 85 decibels (Db) it becomes hazardous.

‘When we subject ourselves to unsafe levels of noise we risk hearing loss - any prolonged noise exposure above 85 Db is considered a significant stress factor.

‘An average dog barks at 120 Db - a Bichon at 102 Db - that would be a 12-minute exposure limit for the day.

Fabian Close, Waterlooville, where the new pet grooming centre will open.

‘The high velocity forced air dryers, they are one of the most significant sources of noise in the grooming environment - the average levels of these range from 94.8 to 108Db.’

After her deputation, Cllr Gary Hughes asked Cllr Robinson whether she accepted that brick walls attenuate sound.

Simon Rowberry, interim head of planning and building control at the council told the committee he was not convinced that the average dog barks at 120 Db.

‘In a former life as a musician in a rock band I can tell you that 120 Db is something like The Who playing at Wembley arena,’ Mr Rowberry said.

The applicant, Jessica Mcknight, is the owner of Pets Come First, a well-established grooming parlour in Horndean which she has been running for the last seven years.

In a deputation, she said: ‘The majority of my clients have been with me since I first started in 2015 and those who got their dog in the years after my start date have been with me since their dog was a puppy.

‘I have been registered with East Hampshire District Council since I first started trading in 2015 and to date, I am not aware of any complaints in regards to any noise from the dogs and or my work.’