North-east councillors have deferred a decision on allowing a kennel business to operate on the site of a formerly illegal puppy farm in the area.
Michelle Wood wants to use five “modular” buildings on the property at East Mains of Ardlogie, near Fyvie, to keep dogs. A one-year permission expired in October.
But members of the Formartine area committee raised concerns about the scheme which planning officers said could pave the wave for new dog breeding business.
Senior planning officer Alan Davidson had recommended to the meeting of councillors in Ellon yesterday that they grant planning permission.
He said: “In terms of policy it complies. Effectively it’s a dog kennels and we see the countryside as an appropriate place for businesses like that.
“We’ve done a site visit previously so you’re aware of the site. Some maintenance has been done.
“In order to get a breeding licence you have to have planning permission. That’s run out so they have reapplied. This is a five year permission which gives them more certainty in applying for the licence.”
But Turriff councillor Sandy Duncan called for a fresh site visit after the committee was shown recent photographs of the site which now has tarpaulin material on the roof of a modular building.
“I want a site visit because I’m uncomfortable with the tarpaulins on the roof,” he said.
His motion was seconded by fellow Turriff member Anne Robertson, who said: “When we granted this as a one-year permission we asked for more information to come back.
“I agree with Councillor Duncan and would urge the committee to support a site visit.”
The elected members unanimously backed the decision to delay the application and revisit the property.
The Scottish SPCA and other animal welfare groups raised fears when a bid was made to secure a breeding licence for the remote site last year.
It was submitted by Elizabeth James, three of whose family members were prosecuted for keeping dogs in appalling conditions there in 2014.