After vigorous debate, the Shire of Collie council approved a proposal for a dog breeding and whelping kennel to be run out of a home in Preston Settlement at the most recent council meeting.
The shire had received an application from Ian Combes to run the business from his Johns Street home, after shire rangers found he had previously been running the business without approval.
In response to the proposal, the shire had received five letters of complaint from neighbouring properties, with the majority citing concerns about the noise level of dogs on the premises and the potential for the operation to become a puppy farm.
However shire director of development services Andrew Dover told councillors at the meeting that the shire hadn’t received any noise complaints about the business previously and inspections showed the facilities were up to ‘a reasonable standard’.
Councillor Joe Italiano said he was opposed to the idea because having a potentially ‘unlimited’ number of puppies on the property would ‘change the amenity’ of the area for neighbours who were there ‘to escape the noise’.
However councillor Elysia Harverson said barking dogs were a regular occurrence everywhere and with the closest neighbour being 250 metres away, noise shouldn’t be a serious issue.
She also said the council should be supporting the growth of businesses within the town.
An initial motion to approve the proposal on the condition that the number of adult dogs allowed to be kept on the premises was limited to 10 was narrowly defeated, falling just one vote short of a majority, before a motion to reject the proposal received no support.
Ultimately the council unanimously voted to approve the another motion that also limited the number of adult dogs to 10, but also required the property owner to install noise mitigation strategies.
Mr Dover said while the business had received approval to operate as a home business, it would also need to apply for a kennel license.