Stephen Bland has been blindsided by a council decision, which could force him to get rid of his dogs.
Stephen Bland has been blindsided by a council decision, which could force him to get rid of his dogs. Paul Donaldson BUN040715GREY6

Council decision shocks greyhound trainer

A BUNDABERG greyhound trainer has been blindsided by a council decision he says could force him to get rid of his dogs.

Bundaberg Greyhound Racing Club president Stephen Bland sat in the public gallery at an ordinary council meeting today and was left dumbfounded, angry and upset after his expansion plans crumbled before him.

"I'm really angry,” Mr Bland said.

A devastated Mr Bland said he was shocked by the decision because as far as he was concerned he had done everything he could to work with the council.

Councillors voted unanimously to reject Mr Bland's plans to increase the greyhound kennel at his Woodgate home from 18 dogs to 38 dogs.

As patron of the greyhound club, Councillor Ross Sommerfeld removed himself from the vote.

The matter has been ongoing since 2013 when the council approved a kennel for 12 dogs.

Mayor Jack Dempsey said since 2014 there had been compliance issues and complaints from neighbours regarding noise and the numbers of dogs being kept at the property.

The council received 82 properly made submissions in relation to the development application.

Of those 82 submissions, nine were in objection to the proposal and 73 in favour.

Cr Dempsey said there was still an opportunity for Mr Bland to appeal the decision.

"However, we really need to take into account all the other people in that area as well as other long-term planning issues,” Cr Dempsey said.

Cr Dempsey said the initial submission, which proposed 46 animals be housed at the property, drew objection from neighbours once the proposal was advertised.

"The property owner then came back to council in July with an amended proposal revising down the number of dogs from 46 to 38, and it was this amended proposal that was rejected at today's meeting,” Cr Dempsey said.

"Council has thoroughly explored the circumstances surrounding the proposal and has come to the decision that such an operation would result in a significant impact on the amenity of the area.”

Mr Bland said the decision would have a negative impact across the Bundaberg greyhound industry.

"I will be speaking to the Queensland Ombudsman,” he said.

"I will be appealing this decision.”

Mr Bland said if his appeal failed he would need to relocate his dogs.



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