Happy Paws Haven's new battle: Council orders DA application
WITH one legal battle between Happy Paws Haven and Clarence Valley Council all but over, a second could be on its way.
Days after a Land and Environment court case between the two parties was settled bar one condition on June 1, the council issued a proposed order for Happy Paws Haven to cease operating on a second property - a 107 acre block of land behind the current animal shelter which was bought last year - if owner Sally Rogers doesn't apply for a development application to operate as an animal training or boarding establishment.
But according to Ms Rogers, the three adult dogs and undisclosed number of puppies which are currently residing on the property are not part of the Happy Paws operation.
She said the dogs on the property were being looked after by a caretaker, who was living on the property.
"I'm not operating Happy Paws from there because we're not doing adoptions from there," she said.
"Everything happens (at the front property). This is the registered office for Happy Paws."
Ms Rogers said volunteers did walk dogs on the second property, in order to avoid causing the neighbours and their own dogs any trouble.
"The block is further away from my neighbours so there shouldn't be any neighbours complaining about dogs operating over there," she said.
"They're saying it's a commercial enterprise, but I don't know what's commercial about this charity. I'm not making a profit or training dogs and I'm not a vet."
Clarence Valley Council environment, planning and community director Des Schroder said council recognised the efforts of Ms Rogers in trying to re-home animals, but she still needed development approval.
"The Local Environment Plan for her area was introduced in 2011. Her site falls under the category RU2 Rural Landscape Zone, and the only way a development of this type can occur in that area is with development approval.
"If she's operating an animal boarding or training establishment, which is a permitted activity if a development application is lodged and approved, she needs to lodge a DA. If she believes she isn't operating an animal boarding or training establishment she doesn't meet the terms of the LEP and can't operate at all.
"It's as simple as that.
"We've offered to meet with her through our development management unit (DMU) process so we can discuss what might be required and would like her to take up that offer."