A DOG grooming parlour can continue to use a former Baptist chapel despite a complaint over dog dirt and barking.

Backdated planning permission has been granted to the business's conversion of The Ebenezer Hall in Wood Street, Darwen.

The approval has conditions regarding the hours of use and restricting the premises' use to dog grooming only Danni's Diamond Dogs applied to Blackburn with Darwen Council for retrospective planning permission to continue to use the 1914 building known locally as 'The Gospel Hall' for its business.

A report recommending approval with three conditions by planning officer Jamie Edwards says: "The application site relates to a former place of worship positioned on the southern side of Wood Street, Darwen.

"Retrospective planning permission is sought for a change of use to part of the building from a church to a dog groomers' facility.

"The ground floor will have two separate grooming rooms with the upper floor within the roof space utilised for ancillary storage and staff facilities.

"One letter of objection has been received and with comments on highways safety impacts; parking; dog barking issues; and dog faeces left lying all around the area of the dog groomers.

"The proposed dog grooming use is considered to provide a service which will benefit the local population. Bringing the building back into active use also weighs heavily in favour of the proposal.

The proposal unit is surrounded by residential dwellings to all sides. The main issue consideration is noise impacts arising from the proposed use from dogs barking, as well as comings and goings associated with the use.

"The dog groomers business activity will be undertaken on a booking/appointment system with a maximum of three or four dogs at the premises at any one time.

"Moreover, groomers provide specialist one-to-one care, thus minimising the potential of any dogs barking.

"A written representation received points out that dog faeces in the area is an issue following the opening of the use.

"This is not a material planning consideration. This covered by separate legislation under the Dogs (Fouling of Land) Act 1996, which can be enforced by the council’s environmental cleansing team should these problems be persistent.

"The proposals do not involve any external alterations to the host building.

"The site currently has no off-street parking. It is important to point out that the previous lawful use of the building as a church would have required a more onerous parking need.

"The modest scale of the proposal will result in minimal traffic generation."