'Rogue neighbour' complaint over poo put popular Darwen dog grooming spot under threat

Danielle with Poppy; one of her regular customers
Danielle with Poppy; one of her regular customers -Credit:LancsLive

A popular dog groomer with hundreds of regular customers on her books has spoken of her relief after being granted permission to use a former chapel.

Danielle Martin has been trimming terriers and dolling-up dachshunds for more than 20 years having first qualified at the Pet Warehouse in Oswaldtwistle. The 42-year-old, from Darwen, opened up her first shop in 2006 after making the move to go it alone.

Last year Danielle made the decision to move to new, bigger premises in a former chapel, in Wood Street, but wasn't aware she would need to submit an application to change the use of the building.

Last week councillors granted permission to change the use of the property which was met with relief from Danielle. However, the planning officer revealed that, of 17 neighbours consulted, one objection was submitted.


The objection referred to dog poo being left "all around the area" and issues with customers parking on the car park at the small Woodvale block of flats. The resident also claimed that customers "drive along the pavement" which causes a hazard to children using the playground further along Wood Street.

Danielle was surprised to hear that someone had complained about customers parking on the car park at Woodvale. "I can't imagine anyone would choose to park there because it's behind the flats," she said.

Danielle has even proactively gone to the expense of having a sign put up on the outer wall of the church to remind customers to park considerately and to not block neighbours' driveways.

Danni's Diamond Dogs is in the former church on Wood Street
Danni's Diamond Dogs is in the former church on Wood Street -Credit:LancsLive

The dog groomer, who has hundreds of regular customers and a six-week waiting list, said she is a responsible business owner and disputed that anyone visiting her salon has left dog poo outside. "On one occasion when I did see some, which could have been left by anyone, I took a bucket out and cleaned it off the pavement," she added.

Darren, who lives around the corner from Danni's Diamond Dogs, said he hasn't had any issues since the salon opened. "I'm amazed that someone is complaining about parking when in fact just along Wood Street there is a huge problem with people parking on double yellows or creating a blind bend in order to visit two other businesses," he told LancsLive.

"It seems to me that they've gone out of their way to be courteous and if there's only one objection it's probably just a rogue neighbour who likes to have something to whinge about."

In his report recommending approval, planning officer Jamie Edwards said: "It was apparent on my site visit that there is capacity on-street along Hope Street and to the side of the former Public House, No.88 Wood Street for the limited number of staff and customer overflow.

"Concerns were received that parking on Woodvale would prevent access to for emergency service vehicles and refuse collectors.

"However, there is no substantive evidence to support this argument in terms of parking associated with the proposed use causing obstructions and no significant conflict is considered to arise."