A DEVELOPMENT application allowing Grafton's Happy Paws Haven animal charity to continue operating from a suburban residence has been recommended for refusal.
Happy Paws owner Sally Rogers fronted Tuesday's meeting of council's environment, economic and community committee, asking to house about 90 dogs and cats at her current premises at Breimba Street.
However, the committee supported the recommendation of council officers that the application be rejected. For the past two years, Happy Paws has operated without council approval.
Despite the committee's decision, which will need to be agreed to at next week's ordinary council meeting to take effect, Ms Rogers has already signalled her intention to vacate her Grafton premises.
The Daily Examiner reported earlier this month Ms Rogers had purchased a new property at Eatonsville, which would be the new home of Happy Paws.
Ms Rogers told the committee she would finalise the purchase of the property early next month and would then lodge a new development application to re-establish Happy Paws there.
If next week's ordinary council meeting confirms the committee's decision to refuse the application, it is unclear whether Ms Rogers will have to cease operating from Breimba Street before she established her new premises, given it is yet to be approved.
Any order from council to Ms Rogers to cease her current operations would be accompanied by a 30-day notice period, which could potentially be appealed.
Tuesday's meeting brings the saga surrounding Happy Paws a step closer to resolution, after council officers first wrote to Ms Rogers last January advising her of complaints about the number of animals on her premises, saying she would need to reduce them.
Complaints continued from residents for several months before council officers issued a cessation order in May requesting Ms Rogers stop using the property as an animal establishment.
The matter was listed before the Land and Environment Court last June before council withdraw proceedings against Ms Rogers.