COUNTY residents say they are frustrated with the lack urgency from Herefordshire Council in tackling an unpermitted sheep dog shed which is causing a noise nuisance to villagers.

The working collies are being kept on land without planning permission next to Lower Foxhall Farm in Rudhall, near Ross-on-Wye.

Local residents have complained to the council about the unpermitted development and ‘incessant barking’ coming from the site.

Angela Blackmoor applied in 2017 for retrospective planning permission to keep the sheep dogs at the site and retain a temporary fence together with a new access road – but this was rejected.

Council officers issued an enforcement notice on Ms Blackmoor in February 2018, giving her six months to return the site to its previous condition – however this has yet to be done.

Resident Chris Phillipson said: “Herefordshire Council’s procrastination and potential course of action seems about to jeopardise the integrity of the planning system.”

He said council officer were unable to garner much evidence to proceed with a noise abatement notice, despite the complaint from residents.

But Mr Phillipson said residents were concerned the enforcement deadline expired several months ago and no action has been taken.

“I have subsequently been in contact with the case officer for the application and he tells me that it is unclear whether or not the council will enforce their enforcement notice,” he said.

“If the council does not prosecute Ms Blackmoor for failing to comply with the enforcement notice, where does this leave the integrity of the planning system?

“Why should anyone bother with planning permission if the council aren’t bothered either?

“What does this mean for the large number of locals who objected to her development of the site?

“It must be in the public interest to proceed with legal action.”

A Herefordshire Council spokesperson confirmed they were aware of the case.

He said: “The council is aware of this case, having undertaken a thorough multi-agency investigation across the regulatory disciplines of animal health, planning, licensing and environmental health.

“A planning enforcement notice was served in February 2018, but the notice remained non-compliant following the deadline.

“The council is now determining whether legal action can be pursued in line with our enforcement and prosecution policy.”