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Dog day care business in jeopardy over struggles to secure new location

PUBLISHED: 17:38 01 May 2019 | UPDATED: 08:10 02 May 2019

Wag-It owner Sarah Hebden, who is struggling to find a new location for her business. Picture: Courtesy of Sarah Hebden

Wag-It owner Sarah Hebden, who is struggling to find a new location for her business. Picture: Courtesy of Sarah Hebden

Sarah Hebden

The owner of a dog day care business says it may have no future if she is unable to find a new base, after opposition scuppered her previous plans.

Wag-It owner Sarah Hebden, who is struggling to find a location to revive her business. Picture: Courtesy of Sarah HebdenWag-It owner Sarah Hebden, who is struggling to find a location to revive her business. Picture: Courtesy of Sarah Hebden

Sarah Hebden is the owner of Wag-It, a business which offers home boarding for hounds which was previously based in Coltishall.

However, after personal circumstances left Ms Hebden's business without a home, she has found it increasingly difficult to find a new base.

She had previously set her sights on a site in Weston Longville, where she planned to build a specifically-designed kennel building with space for up to 40 dogs.

However, after encountering fierce objection from neighbours to the site, she withdrew her application.

She said: “My planning application received 49 objections. It felt as though the whole community was against me so I withdrew my application.

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“Finding a replacement site has been incredibly difficult – I need a site with no other houses nearby, so it has been a real struggle.”

Ms Hebden, who set up the business six years ago, is hoping the former project house of the Northern Distributor Road – on land at Gazebo Farm – could be the answer to her problems.

With its remote location outside of the village of Rackheath, Ms Hebden believes she has found an ideal location.

However, she has been unable to reach an agreement over the purchase of the land.

She said: “The business has been homeless since last May so I've had to keep it on hold, but if I am not able to find a new site it has no real future.

“The difficulty is that I need a very sensitive area to make it work. If it was simple as just finding an empty field and building it there I would, but it is just not that easy.”

A spokesman for Balfour Beatty, which currently owns the land, said: “Following the completion of the NDR we are in legal discussions regarding the release of the land which holds Gazebo Farm.

“As these are currently on-going, it would be inappropriate to comment further.” Ms Hebden said her business model mitigated for potential noise nuisance, as dog-owners must demonstrate their pet meets a specific behavioural criteria before they are allowed to stay with her.

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