Plans to open new cattery approved despite concerns about 'horrendous smells'

A couple applied to Aberdeenshire Council in a bid to build the 11-pen facility.

Plans to open new cattery in Aberdeen approved despite concerns about ‘horrendous smells’ Getty Images

A new cattery will soon be opening in Inverurie to save the town’s feline residents from going on long and “stressful” journeys elsewhere.

Gemma Nicol and husband Fraser applied to Aberdeenshire Council in a bid to build the 11-pen facility on ground next to their home Craiguan on Anderson Walk.

The house, which has been a feature in the town for more than 100 years, is close to sheltered housing complexes Ury House and Don House, as well as Kellands School.

Mrs Nicol will run the feline retreat and be on site 24/7 to “tend to the cats every need”.

A site plan of the new Inverurie cattery (Image: Colin Thompson Architect).LDRS

The proposal was largely welcomed in the town, so much so that 70 people wrote to the council to voice their support.

Inverurie resident Nora Mather claimed there was a “severe” lack of such facilities for cats.

She said she would “definitely” use the new cattery to prevent her moggies from going on hour-long “stressful” trips to other catteries.

The manager of Inverurie Pet Supplies, Linda McRobbie, also backed the plan.

She said her customers often asked about boarding sites for their beloved felines ahead of trips away.

“There is a shortage of catteries in the area and often the ones there are, are full up leaving owners relying on family, neighbours and friends to look after their cats,” Linda stated.

While Vicky McKnockiter said it was a “much-needed and wanted service”.

She explained: “I have a close family member who ran a cattery until recently retiring.

“At peak times she was constantly having to turn away customers as she was completely full.”

But objector Linda Binnie raised concerns that the cattery would add extra traffic to the area that could endanger pedestrians, including the nearby sheltered housing residents.

She added: “Catteries and the like belong in a country environment not in the centre of a busy neighbourhood.

“The noise and smell especially in the summer will be horrendous to people passing by.”

Inverurie Community Council was also opposed to the proposal, saying the cattery would bring an “inappropriate commercial business” to the neighbourhood.

However, council planners recommended it be approved as they believed the “modest” and “low profile” building would have no impact on surrounding homes.

They also said the 22 metre long structure would be the similar height to a garden shed.

Senior planner Helen Atkinson also relieved any fears of potential pong from the cattery as she said it was a “well contained” building and preventative measures would be in place.

The application went before the Garioch area committee this week.

Councillor David Keating noted the “impressive” support it received from cat owners across town.

“I’m reluctant to stop somebody if they think there is a demand, and there’s certainly 70 letters of support which mention that,” he said.

But committee chairwoman Marian Ewenson said she would have preferred to see the cattery built in a more rural location.

She explained: “I wasn’t particularly keen to see something like this right in the middle of a residential area, near a school and two sheltered housing developments.

“But I don’t see any planning reason to refuse it.”

However, the application for the cattery was unanimously approved.

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