Great Barr dog grooming parlour owner speaks out about controversy

Karen Hall-Yates set up Posh Paws Canine Styling in her garage

<p> Karen Hall-Yates set up Posh Paws Canine Styling in her garage in Great Barr</p>

Karen Hall-Yates set up Posh Paws Canine Styling in her garage in Great Barr

A business woman has spoken out after her dispute with her neighbours over her dog grooming parlour went viral.

Karen Hall-Yates, of Lammermoor Avenue, Great Barr, set up Posh Paws Canine Styling in her garage at her home – but was then met with a petition of 24 objections after converting the garage without permission.

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Now she has spoken out about her initial anger at her neighbour’s objections and also about her love of dogs and pampering them in time for the festive season.

The Local Democracy Service visited Karen’s property for a tour of the parlour and to get her side of the story.

How has the controversy affected business?

“I was initially quite angry that the story went out, but after I calmed myself, it’s been quite good for business really,” she said.

Mrs Hall-Yates claims that she did not need planning permission to convert the garage “as we were just using one bath for our dogs for personal use”, but asked the question for her grooming business.

“It’s not necessarily a dog grooming business, more of a hobby. I like making dogs feel good and pampering them,” she said.

“Around March or April 2020, I asked ThinkSandwell about my dog grooming business, as I only groom five dogs a week max. I got a message from them saying that I did not need planning permission.”

She added: “I moved here in May this year over the other side of the Scott Arms. I was struck by how lovely the back garden was and how quiet it is, despite being so close to the M6.

“When me and my husband moved here, we thought the garage and part of the back garden would be suitable and ideal for a dog grooming salon.

“I had two dogs before we moved here, both breeds of Lhasa Apso. We then got two more of the same breed.”

Posh Paws Canine Styling in Great Barr

How did the controversy begin?

But her neighbours were not so happy. Mrs Hall-Yates was eventually told that she did need permission and fought her case at Sandwell Council’s planning committee.

Speaking to the committee on December 15 she argued that the petition was largely not relevant to the planning committee as she applied for retrospective permission.

Three letters of recommendations and positive feedback about the business, were also shown.

In the end, Sandwell council gave retrospective planning permission that was subject to opening hours after officers said that the change of use from a garage into a dog grooming facility would be acceptable and would not cause any significant parking or highway issues.

Karen Hall-Yates set up Posh Paws Canine Styling in her garage in Great Barr

How does Mrs Hall-Yates feel about the planning decision?

Mrs Hall-Yates said: “It was great, I thoroughly enjoyed the meeting, as I knew I was in the right. I read all the documentation beforehand.

“I didn’t see any of the objections until the meeting itself.”

She added: “[The neighbour] claims that we are dog breeding, but that is not the case at all. One of the dogs, coincidentally as we moved into the new property, ended up giving birth to a litter of puppies.

“We re-homed them with others ‘in the breed’, those who also look after show dogs, by using an advertisement. I’ve tried to change it to show that they have been rehomed, but perhaps that is why they seem to think we are breeding dogs.

“Aside from that time in May, we have never bred dogs. I don’t want to, and I don’t plan to either.”

Mrs Hall-Yates now hopes to have a quiet Christmas ‘but not before pampering a few dogs for their owners in time for the big day’.

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