A DOG rescue centre which a council tried to close down after it flouted planning rules has been given the go-ahead to carry on.

Ruishton Dog Rescue was threatened with closure of its operation at Priory Farm, in Bird Lane, Knapp, when it was denied retrospective planning permission.

Owner Cindi McNeil-Regan appealed against the refusal to permit a change of use of the premises from residential to mixed use, including keeping the dogs.

The council had last year turned down the application following complaints about the noise of barking dogs and the diversion of a footpath.

But planning inspector Steven Rennie has supported Ms McNeil-Regan's appeal after visiting the site before Christmas.

He said the noise from the dogs was "intermittent and infrequent", while there was no evidence of the animals being aggressive or agitated and there would be "no undue levels of disturbance for neighbours to the site".

Mr Rennie made the proviso that a maximum of 20 rescue dogs can be kept at Priory Farm at any one time - Ms McNeil-Regan had wanted the limit to be 25.

But he added that it would be "unreasonable" to impose a limit on the number of pet dogs kept by the charity owner.

Mr Rennie also ruled that no fundraising charity events or open days could be held at the centre, while he was not averse to the footpath alterations Ms McNeil-Regan had made.

He added: "When exercising the rescue dogs outdoors, they shall be supervised at all times.

"No dogs shall be exercised externally between the hours of 9pm and 7am."

Mr Rennie declined Ms McNeil-Regan's application for Somerset West and Taunton Council to pay the costs she had incurred bringing the appeal.

She has operated across Europe an in China to bring abandoned and abused canins to the UK for treatment and adoption since 2016.