THERE could soon be somewhere new for people to leave their beloved pooches when they head off to work or on their holidays.

Robert Fitton, who leases Moss Hall Farm, in Lostock, is seeking permission to transform one of its three barns into boarding kennels.

Mr Fitton keeps cows, bulls, sheep and horses on the farm where his mother, Margaret, also holds dog training sessions at the farm.

The pair found that dog-owners were asking if they could look after their pets on the farm, but had to decline due to not being properly licensed or having the right facilities.

They now want to convert one of the barns into 14 kennels, creating two new jobs in addition to the four staff already members employed at the farm.

Mr Fitton said: "We are dog-lovers as a family, so that's why we're looking to change the use of the building into boarding kennels."

He continued: "There's a massive demand, if you look at the pet industry, it's gone from £2.5bn to £5bn over the last 10 to 15 years. I can't see it slowing down."

"There are not many kennels around here, there are a few on the other side of Bolton, but we have the facilities here to give the dogs a really wonderful life."

Mr Fitton says he is responsible for the farming side of the business, while his mother drives the dog training side of it.

He said: "We can' t make enough money if I just run the farm, we have to diversify to keep the farm.

The lodge will be a log cabin which can be moved from the site if necessary, and no higher than the existing agricultural buildings around it.

But as the farm is based within designated green belt land, planning chiefs will have to consider the impact of any development or change of use on the character.

A design and access statement submitted with the application says the kennels will not have a detrimental effect on the immediate environment.

It says the nearest neighbour to the proposed kennels is over half a mile away and "therefore any possible disturbance from a new kennel business will not have an impact on residential amenity."

Mr Fitton says that he has had support from people in the immediate area, and added: "I will be very surprised if we don't get planning permission .

"The kennels are not changing anything and the lodge is transportable, but you never know." However if the kennels are a success Mr Fitton will apply for a “permanent solution to staff accommodation.