For us, the past year has been extremely busy. We have been hard at work building our new site at Bentley House Farm, and the journey hasn't always been easy. Aside from general building snags and other expected hold-ups, we almost didn't make it past the planning stage. We never expected the political side of setting up our new premises to be quite so drawn out, but sometimes life throws you a curve-ball! However, after a long battle with Bromsgrove District Council, we were delighted to win planning permission and continue with our dream. It just goes to show, that if you set your mind to something, you really can achieve anything.
For those of you who missed our article in the Bromsgrove Advertiser, here it is:
"A DAY care centre for dogs will be developed on farmland between Bromsgrove and Redditch, after councillors defied officers' recommendations and gave the proposal the green light.
Redditch dog walker Nigel Sealey intends to open The Dog Day Club in a rented barn on Bentley House Farm this September.
The building, which is located on Green Belt land, will incorporate large kennels, a staff kitchen and toilet, with a former pigsty at the rear becoming an outdoor run for visiting pets.
Dog lover Nigel said: "I got the idea for the day care centre after I saw a similar business on a farm up in Edinburgh.
"I've always worked with dogs and my mom had a dog groomers.
"So after four years driving around the countryside trying to convince farmers that it was a good idea, thankfully I met Hannah and Matthew Morgan who were very open to it.
"They're young farmers so they know their farm has to change to sustain an income. They've been very supportive."
Two vans will operate a collection and drop-off service at homes and pick-up points across Bromsgrove and Redditch, including one in Aston Fields.
Dogs in the day centre's care will be walked in the surrounding countryside, have an individually-built fitness plan and can be socialised with other dogs under the supervision of an on-site dog behaviourist.
Nigel also hopes to build a dog agility course and create job opportunities for local people with learning difficulties.
Speaking at Monday night's Planning Committee meeting, ward member Cllr Peter Whittaker said the location was 'perfectly suited' for the facility.
He told the Advertiser: "This business is a perfectly legitimate example of farm diversification, which we need in Bromsgrove because farm prices are so low that farmers aren't making a profit.
"We need more start-up businesses like Nigel's investing and caring for our countryside."
The business has already secured a Worcestershire LEADER grant.
Council officers said the proposal 'did not fulfil a local need', but a survey distributed to local residents received 48 responses from dog owners interested in using the facility."