Dozens show support for under-threat South Shields business Gerodie Paws

Supporters of an under-threat family business in South Shields have backed the fight for it to stay open.

Friday, 5th August 2016, 5:00 am
Geordie Paws dog groomers angry over business closure plans. From left owners Cath Petersen, organiser Tracey Moore and Caitlyn Petersen

Cath Peterson and her daughter Caitlynn, who run Geordie Paws – a dog grooming, training and day-care business from their home in Carden Avenue - have been told it must close.

Despite being open for two years, South Tyneside Council has turned down a retrospective planning application.

Almost 40 clients, neighbours and friends turned out in support of Geordie Paws, at a meeting in the Rose and Crown, in Prince Edward Road.

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It was hoped that representatives from the planning department as well a Affinity Sutton Housing Group, which lets the property, would attend yesterday’s meeting.

However, according to Cath, 42, the former told her it would be a ‘conflict of interest’, while the latter did not have any representatives free.

“We haven’t got a clear reason as to why they want to shut us down and we can’t move into other premises until we know those reasons, as we might be turned down again,” she said.

Neighbour Amanda Rees, 39, said: “I’ve never had any problems with the business. I never hear dogs barking.”

Tracey Moore, 46, whose Boxer dog Bentley attends doggie day-care three day per week, organised the meeting.

She said: “It’s come as quite a shock to us, as it hasn’t been made clear why the housing association and the council want to shut it down.”

Tracey added that Coun Jim Foreman had supported the campaign, and helped move the closure date back to September 9.

She said a petition will be presented to the authority to help overturn the decision.

Affinity Sutton previously said it is taking legal advice and would not comment further, while a council spokesman said it was felt that the scale and nature of the business was “not appropriate for a residential setting”.