37 written objections to dog breeding facility south of Bathurst

JUST two of the 37 written objections to a dog breeding facility at Fosters Valley have come from the Bathurst Regional Council area.

A discussion forum on Wednesday night will take a closer look at the development application lodged for 1557 Rockley Road, about 25 kilometres south of Bathurst.

Rockley Valley Park Pty Ltd plans to build the $841,000 breeding facility to supply dogs to a Kellyville pet store owned by John Grima.

Plans show the breeding facility would include 15 kennels; a building containing 20 whelping (birthing) kennels; eight mating kennels; a grooming shed; and a number of dogs runs, outdoor fenced areas and dog socialisation areas.

The facility would take up about two hectares of a 100 hectare site at the corner of Rockley Road and Black Mountain Road, close to koala “feed trees”.

The DA prompted an angry reaction from animal welfare groups who labelled the breeding facility a “puppy farm”, but most of the written objections appear to have come from outside the region.

However, two objectors – Terry Lane and Paul Stapleton – live close to the planned facility and have raised concerns beyond animal welfare issues.

In a written submission to council, Mr Lane raised a number of  issues with regard to effluent run-off from the breeding facility; noise from the facility and a loss of amenity for neighbours; the impact of the facility on lambing ewes; the potential for dogs to escape; and risks to local koala populations.

“Our observations are that koalas are frequent users of this and surrounding areas and do not restrict their climbing to officially recognised ‘habitat’ or ‘feed’ trees, but can climb trees of any species,” the submission states.

“We have personally observed them on our property climbing willows and a variety of conifers and/or pines.”

Mr Lane raised concerns over an acoustic report submitted by the applicant, saying it failed to consider the impact on the facility’s nearest neighbours, and said other sensitive wildlife – including ring-tailed possums and sugar gliders, “to say nothing of the platypi and water rats resident in Davys Creek” – would also be at risk.

Mr Stapleton said his family moved to Fosters Valley to enjoy the area’s “tranquillity and serenity”.

“What positives could come of having sixty-plus dogs living within close proximity of each other?” his submission asks.

“What guarantees do the residents have in regards to the safety of their livestock and livelihood?”

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