CONTROVERSIAL plans to build new kennels to house 48 hunt dogs at a site near Liskeard have been refused by Cornwall Council.  

The East Cornwall Hunt had applied to the local authority for a change of use application for part of a barn to house kennels and stables with a mezzanine extension to the barn and a relocation of an existing exercise area for land northeast of Little Gimble, Higher Tremar, Liskeard.  

The proposals involved an increase in the number of hounds kept on the site to 48 hounds, a six-fold increase from the previous total of eight.  

However, the plans proved highly controversial with residents and the wider public, with 157 comments on the Cornwall Council planning portal for the application comprising 129 objections and 27 expressions of support.  

St Cleer Parish Council also resolved to object to the plans after holding a public meeting to gauge the opinions of local residents on grounds that, in their view, the proposals did not satisfy the duty to conserve open land, with disturbance to ground nesting birds, did not satisfy the needs to safeguard the countryside or protected species and said that the need for the development did not outweigh the ‘considerable harm’ to local residents and business.  

Despite East Cornwall Hunt giving details on how it would mitigate the additional noise using acoustic preparations, the additional noise generated by 48 hounds was among the reasons cited by Cornwall Council’s planners in refusing the application.  

In a refusal letter addressed to the applicant, East Cornwall Hunt Secretary M Martyn, the council said: “The development would introduce a significant number of hounds to the site and associated noise generation which would not be fully mitigable. 

“By reason of its proximity to noise sensitive receptors the development would result in harmful impacts to the amenities of neighbouring occupiers and would erode the peace and tranquillity enjoyed by the occupants to an unacceptable degree. 

“The proposed development therefore results in an unneighbourly impact, contrary to policies 1, 2 and 12 of the Cornwall Local Plan Strategic Policies 2010 - 2030 (adopted November 2016) and Paragraph 185 (a) of the National Planning Policy Framework 2021. 

“The proposed development by the introduction of a significant number of hounds would erode the appreciation of and adversely impact upon the peacefulness of what is currently a tranquil part of the Bodmin Moor Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty in which great weight must be attached to landscape and scenic beauty preservation including its tranquillity. 

“In the absence of any special circumstances to justify it, the proposal represents a harmful form of development within the AONB and without any other material considerations which outweigh such harm, the proposal is contrary to Policies 1, 12, and 23 of the Cornwall Local Plan Strategic Policies 2010 - 2030 (November 2016) and Policies LS-P3 and PD-P11 of the AONB Management Plan 2022-2027 and Paragraphs 174 (e) and 185 (b) of the National Planning Policy Framework 2021.”