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JGM, Solicitor
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 12199
Experience:  30 years as a practising solicitor.
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What is the maximum number of dogs that may be kept in a "dwellinghouse"

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What is the maximum number of dogs that may be kept in a "dwellinghouse" without being a change of use.
Following a decision in Stratford-on-Avon District Council v Hitchman [2001] some local authorities have followed a six dog rule. However, this is a wrong approach. The circumstances are relevant. If you are accommodating a business you will need to apply for planning change of use. The size of premises and exactly what is being done as a business will determine the number of dogs you will keep and will be for the discretion of the local authority, subject to any existing planning policy that the local authority may have formulated. If these are your own dogs then no change of use is required and there would be no specific number restriction unless and until the number gave cause for concern on grounds of health or welfare. I assume this is a business, however, in which case the particular circumstances would have to be examined by the planning officer.
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
The business is Home Boarding. The Model licence conditions for home boarding are the Lacors Model licence conditions for home boarding (Dogs) 2005 amended 2009. Reading your excellent reply against the Lacors document, I am of the opinion that the intent of the Lacors paragraph 1.2 (Normally planning permission will not be required, however...) is the same as that applied to "your own dogs" . This is reinforced by the Lacors paragraph 4.1 (Dogs must live in the home as family pets.) The Council have discretion but ,at appeal, the Council is obliged to comply with the intent of any approved guidance. (see for example the position in Health & Safety Guidance). Your opinion would be helpful.
I would tend to agree with all of that. If you are boarding dogs from the same family within your home, it would appear a bit unrealistic to have to apply for change of use and the model conditions would be guidance upon which you would proceed. Again the number of dogs allowed would have to be looked at in the context of what size and number of rooms and the facilities there are to accommodate them within the home.
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