A controversial proposal by the East Cornwall Hunt to convert one of their barns into kennels and stables has received a blow after St Cleer Parish Council voted to object to the proposals.

At present, the hunt has a lawful development to keep eight hounds and existing stables at the property at Higher Gimble. However, they wish to expand this to site 48 hounds in addition to building a mezzanine extension to the barn and relocating the existing exercise area.

The proposals have been met with resistance from residents in the area, with 23 objections lodged with Cornwall Council’s planning portal.

However, there have also been a number of comments in support of the proposal. One, from Miss Katie Rich, said: "I support this application, hounds are not dangerous. They are gentle and well-trained properly at a young age. They are always well cared for and kept in a very hygienic manner, up to date with vaccinations and worming. The kennels will be secure and built with noise-reduction materials. I can think of worse things as my neighbour."

At a lively meeting of St Cleer Parish Council, held on Wednesday, January 25, there were representations from 20 residents regarding the proposal, with 17 against and three in favour.

Such was the level of response, the section of the meeting discussing the planning application took over an hour to discuss, with all those in attendance getting an opportunity to present their views to the Parish Council alternately to ensure fairness.

Kevin Johnson MBE, Chair of St Cleer Parish Council said: “The Parish Council got a clear indication of the strength of public feeling locally about this planning application. A number of residents in attendance live within metres of the proposal and it allowed for a well-considered parish council meeting where all present were able to speak at length to express their views to us.”

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