CONTROVERSIAL plans to build new dog kennels near a woodland cemetery have been defended.

Grieving families have objected to proposals to build the kennels near West Pennine Remembrance Park, Entwistle, which supply German shepherds to police forces across the country.

They say burials have been interrupted by barking dogs, completely shattering the peace and quiet of the remembrance park.

Blackburn with Darwen Council officers were notified to the existence of the kennels in the park last year after complaints from residents about barking dogs.

Enforcement action had been planned but was delayed following discussions with the owners.

The proposal, lodged by Chris Gore, who owns the remembrance park site, seeks to give permission for the three dog kennels, together with the construction of two more.

Planning officers have proposed to grant temporary permission for the next 12 months for the development

But Mr Gore said he had not been aware of any issues until after plans were lodged with the council.

“This is a retrospective planning application for Mark and Claire’s existing dog kennel,” he said. “They have been here nearly two and a half years, helping with the park and breeding dogs for the police.

“It had only recently come to light that they needed planning permission for the timber building.

“So we submitted a retrospective application for this.

“It was only after we had submitted the application we became aware of objections.

“The kennel is not at the Remembrance Park.

“It is adjacent to the railway station at a different level, on a separate field away from the park.”

The application has been recommended for temporary approval, with a further application needed to grant permission beyond the next 12 month.

Councillors will debate the application at Blackburn Town Hall on Thursday.