A NEW hydrotherapy centre for dogs could be opening in Poole if plans are approved.

Canine services business Ghost Force K9 has submitted a planning application to the council for the change of use of a vacant unit at Albany Business Centre in Cabot Lane.

The proposed centre would provide facilities to aid the rehabilitation of dogs with pre-diagnosed mobility issues, or those recovering from injuries.

Referrals to the centre would usually be made by a vet, and dogs undergoing treatment would take part in swimming exercises for muscle development.

Ghost Force K9’s proposals have been presented in detail by Brett Spiller of Chapman Lily Planning.

The refurbished unit would feature a reception and waiting area on the ground floor, along with a consultation room, an assessment/training room, and a hydrotherapy pool and changing room.

Four full time staff would be employed, and the centre’s proposed opening hours are 8am-8pm Monday to Friday and 8am-3pm on Saturdays.

Ghost Force K9 says it has been searching for a suitable site in Dorset for its hydrotherapy centre since June 2017 but has so far been unsuccessful, despite some 70 different enquiries.

In a planning, design and access statement submitted with the planning application, Mr Spiller said: “The applicant has undertaken an exhaustive search for suitable premises over the course of the last 15 months before arriving at the application site.

“Unit 27 is in a relatively poor state of repair and the internal environment is in need of refurbishment. It has been vacant since July 2018 but actively marketed by Ellis and Partners since May 2018.

“The directors of Ghost Force K9 are professional trainers who have substantive experience in canine welfare,” he said.

They are members of NARCH (National Association of Registered Canine Hydrotherapists).

Poole council is being urged to grant planning permission “without delay”.

Mr Spiller said the new centre would bring a number of benefits to the business centre, namely by returning a vacant premises “back into active use and thereby making more efficient use of this urban brownfield site”.

“The proposal presents a sustainable form of development, contributing to the economic, social and environmental wellbeing of the borough,” he said.