A DOG groomer is "devastated" as her garden shed business faces the prospect of closure.

Sarah Keogh, who has groomed dogs from her home in Hazel Avenue for four years, may have to move out of the area following a council decision this month.

Tip Top Dog Grooming Shop has more than 150 clients, mostly from the Westhoughton area, and Ms Keogh also grooms rescue dogs from a Daisy Hill charity for free.

But Bolton Council has refused planning permission to use the garden shed for dog grooming because the noises and "disturbance" coming from the business would be "detrimental" to neighbours, town hall planners ruled.

Ms Keogh spent £4,500 on council fees and a planning consultant before finding out her application had been refused last week.

She said: “I’m heartbroken. This has devastated me. It’s just a lot of money.

“I just feel I’ve not been given an opportunity to put anything right because they won’t tell me what the issues are. If they had told me what they were, I could do something about it.

“It’s devastating for me because I’ve built up a really good loyal client list. I’m really respectful of my neighbours. I keep everywhere spotless. There’s no hygiene issue.

“I don’t really want to leave this area. If I leave this area I lose my clients. I’d have to start from scratch.

“I’m a small business. It was a real investment. Before everything changed I would have been due to get my pension this year so now I have another seven years to work. This was my semi-retirement."

Tip Top Grooming Shop currently operates between 10am and 5pm from Wednesday to Saturday with only one dog being groomed at any time.

Ms Keogh said she reduced her operating hours since she first opened her business four years ago, but she claims the council only told her to apply for planning permission after receiving a complaint from a neighbour.

Marjorie Rigby, who founded dog rescue charity Silver Fox six years ago, takes up to 10 dogs a month to be groomed by Ms Keogh.

She said: “It’s awful. Sarah is just a god send. She really is. She’s just amazing with them after all their suffering.

“I can’t do without Sarah. She has a knack. I’m just so shocked with this.

"We are going to have to put a plea out on Facebook. It’s going to be difficult. We’ll have to look further afield.

“We are just going to have to find someone else. I don’t know what to do with these dogs now."

A Bolton Council spokesman said: “We do not comment on individual cases. Planning regulations are clear that anyone who wishes to run a business from their home must secure planning permission if their work will change the overall character of the property.

“As well as physical changes, this can include things like noise, odour, hygiene and additional traffic.”

Ms Keogh has said she will appeal the decision.