A retrospective planning application has been made to double the number of breeding bitches at a dog breeders.

Plans to increase the number of breeding animals from 10 to 20 at the facility on the land adjacent to Doctor's Hall, Bury Lane, Stanton.

The original application was approved in September 2017 with the following condition: "No more than a total of 10 breeding bitches shall be kept or kennelled on the site at any one time."

Planning documents say this condition was imposed "in the interests of sustainable development and residential amenity".

However, though the works finished in December 2020, double the permitted number have been kept on-site for the last five years.

In the planning statement attached to the new application to remove the number limit, it said: "The business model has, for the last 30 years, always had 20 breeding bitches. The previous application was always for 20 bitches."

The planning statement added: "The applicants do not wish to increase those numbers any further. The facilities are design[ed] and built to house 20 bitches.

"Professional noise surveys and reports have been prepared on two separate occasions and both times passed the requirements with 20 bitches on site.

"There is no reason why this business cannot continue operating 20 bitches on site."

Permission was initially sought to allow for the material change in the use of the land from a paddock to the breeding and keeping of dogs, including building a timber fence, car parking area, dog kennels and a stable block.

A West Suffolk Council spokesman said: "It is not illegal to undertake works without planning permission and planning law allows for a retrospective planning application to be submitted for consideration against planning policy and other material considerations.

"If a retrospective application is subsequently refused, the Council may consider whether formal enforcement action is expedient to rectify the breach."

The application will now be assessed by planners.