Derbyshire Green Belt field could become dog walking park

Plans to turn a green belt field near Spondon into a dog walking park have been submitted. The application, filed by Fisher German LLP, would see an agricultural field around the size of a football pitch off Locko Road, Spondon, turned into a dog walking site.

Erewash Borough Council will make a decision on the plans in the next few months. Documents filed by the applicants say there is a high demand for such a facility in the area, “particularly given the marked increase in dog ownership during the Covid-19 pandemic”.

They say the site, close to the “densely populated settlements” of Spondon and Oakwood, lends itself to the proposed development – ​​and that demand is high. The applicants say: “The proposal aims to provide a secure, open space for members of the local community to be able to safely exercise their dogs, which may otherwise be challenging.”

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The site entrance would be around 600 meters from the Bluebell Dairy Ice Cream Farm and around 100 meters from the entrance to Locko Park, through an existing gate off a bend in Locko Road. Documents submitted by the applicant say the scheme would operate on pre-bookings only and just one owner would be allowed to use the field at any one time.

Parking spaces for two cars would be available. The site would have several dog waste bins and there would be drinking water available for the dogs. Slots for the site would only be available during daylight hours but information has not been provided to detail how many slots could be available and how many dogs could be at the site over the course of a day.

The applicant says the scheme would not have a negative impact on the green belt, saying: “The proposed use of the site will provide secure space for dog owners to exercise their dogs without impacting on the openness of the green belt, nor negatively affecting any residential areas. This will be particularly beneficial to owners of nervous dogs who perhaps struggle to comfortably exercise their dogs when other dogs are present and those with younger dogs or those in training.

“The space will be especially useful for owners wanting to work on their pet’s recall and other basic training without needing to worry for their safety on roads, with livestock or other dog walkers. The proposal both provides wellbeing benefits for dogs, by providing space for important ‘off-lead’ time, crucial for their own fitness and health, both physical and mental, and the same benefits for their owners, encouraging and facilitating time in the outdoors and physical exercise.”

A month ago, the borough council approved plans for a dog exercise park a few miles away off Hixon’s Lane, near Dale Abbey, despite numerous objections linked to noise and traffic concerns.

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