New Gorebridge pet parlour's bark is worse than its bite

A new pet parlour will be restricted to having no more than two dogs at a time after council officers ruled it would reduce the risk of barking.

Wednesday, 3rd March 2021, 4:34 pm
Main Street in Gorebridge. Stock photo by Scott Louden.
Main Street in Gorebridge. Stock photo by Scott Louden.

Local dog groomer Kelsey Watt has been granted planning permission to turn a former cafe and hot food takeaway on Gorebridge Main Street into a new salon and boutique.

However, environmental health officers ruled that she should not have more than two clients in the parlour at any given time to reduce noise.

The limit was imposed in a report by Midlothian planning officers which said the added condition of the limit would “address concerns over noise from hair dryers and dog barking, as dogs bark more if there are other dogs present”.

Ms Watt applied for a change of use of the property to a dog grooming salon and boutique after building up a regular clientele.

She told the council that as well as the salon, she aimed “to create a relaxed and comfortable retail experience where customers can be well advised on quality products for their canine companions” in the new boutique at Main Street, Gorebridge.

She said: “I personally groom a maximum of five clients per day (on a one dog in, one dog out basis) as I want to offer a calm and relaxing session for every dog where possible.

“The boutique clients will be any of my grooming clients dropping off/collecting their dogs or any amount of walk-in customers.

“I have been in the dog grooming business now for over 11 years and have built up a very reliable and loyal, local client base.

"I have new clients in touch daily and feel that the area of Gorebridge is missing the service and opportunities that I can provide.”

Permission was granted by Midlothian Council for the change of use with the restriction on numbers included.

In a response to planners, the council’s environment health team said: “Environmental health do receive complaints about noise from dog grooming businesses with regard to noise from hair dryers and dog barking.

“Typically dogs bark more if there are other dogs present.

"Therefore it would make sense to limit the number of dogs on the premises at any one time.”