Pawfection Doggy Spa in Leighton Buzzard backed by community as petition appeals for council to keep it in town

The community has rallied to support Leighton Buzzard’s Pawfection Doggy Spa and urge the council to approve its change of use application.

By Jo Robinson
Friday, 22nd July 2022, 11:24 am

Owner Katie Brown, 31, opened the North Street premises in January this year, but didn't realise that she needed to alter the shop unit's status from Class E to Sui generis.

Following a recent visit from Central Bedfordshire Council (CBC), Katie has now sent an application, while a Change.org petition in support currently stands at over 150 signatures.

Katie told the LBO: "It was lovely because it popped up on Facebook and I didn't realise it was being organised. I got quite emotional knowing that people out there are supporting me.

Pawfection Doggy Spa. Image: Katie Brown.

"We are a small independent business that wants to provide the best care for people's dogs and by signing this petition it will help us move forward and keep going."

Katie had ten years' experience as manager of Blythwood Vets, Bushey, before starting her dog grooming business from her garden in 2016 to juggle work with bringing up young children.

She then saw the lease going for the North Street premises, and was proud to open in January 2022.

Katie said: "It didn't occur to me that we had to apply for planning permission; as far as I was concerned we were just moving into a shop.

Katie with a pawfectly pampered pooch, and right, outside the business with her family. Image: Katie Brown.

"We want to work with the council and do the right thing. We have handed in the application and are keeping our fingers crossed."

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The petition was founded by one of Katie's loyal customers, Chloé Peters.

Chloé told the LBO: “As a local business owner - and an advocate for women in business and small businesses in Leighton-Linslade - I recognise the importance of each and every business in our town.

Pawfection Doggy Spa. Image: Katie Brown.

"Their contribution goes beyond the service they offer; they are a local employer, contributing to our local economy and in this instance adding more reason to go to North Street.

“Although at this stage of their application, there hasn’t been a disapproval (or approval) I thought it was important to raise the petition to show solidarity and support for their change in use application for the reasons mentioned.

"I am friends with the local architect involved and [my dog] Willow is a loyal customer of Pawfection Doggy Spa, so felt like I needed to gain support for them.”

Katie lives in Leighton Buzzard with her partner, Richard Brown, 34, sons Mason, seven, and Ted, four, and the family's three dogs: cockapoo, Bonnie, cocker spaniel, Bella, and shih tzu, Dotty.

Katie added: "Leighton Buzzard is really really friendly, it's such a nice community. I would like to say thank you to everyone who has signed the petition, all my customers, the lovely Chloé Peters, my husband Richard and our architect, Veronique Castel-Branco, who has taken on our application for us.

"My staff have been amazing. They have been really supportive, and obviously they are concerned for their jobs, too.”

A Central Bedfordshire Council spokesman said: “We are consulting over this proposal until August 10.

"Once the consultation ends and we have considered the feedback we will be able to make a decision.”

To find our more about Pawfection Doggy Spa, whose sessions include relaxing music and calming pheromone diffusers, visit: https://pawfectiondoggyspa.itsallsavvy.com/site/60704df53b8be620775c50da/60705cf9ad34d0155500a97d