Plans for a dog exercise park on the outskirts of a Derbyshire town are set for approval, despite objections from residents over potential noise and traffic issues. An application submitted by Jade Barker would see land off Hixon’s Lane, close to the junction with Dale Road, close to Ilkeston, turned into a dog exercising park.
Planning officers at Erewash Borough Council have recommended that the plans are approved at a meeting on Wednesday night (March 30). As part of the Green Belt development, new fencing has been erected along the length of the public footpath and around the field.
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Council officers say that no other permanent structures or buildings are proposed as part of the project.
Dale Abbey Parish Council says it has concerns over the noise from dogs on the site, while Stanton by Dale Parish Council says the project represents inappropriate use of the Green Belt and could cause traffic issues.
Meanwhile, 25 objection letters have been submitted by residents living close to the site, near Stanton by Dale.
They object to “noise from dogs and users of the field which would have a detrimental impact on the amenity of the area generally”.
They continue: “Such facilities are unnecessary, the area is riddled with footpaths for pedestrians and dog walkers alike.
“The noise and traffic from the use would have a detrimental impact on the certified licensed caravan site we operate near the proposals.”
“There is no indication how many dogs the land will accommodate, there have been 20+ dogs before.”
An objecting resident also had concerns over the loss of wildlife “due to dogs and faeces/urine contaminating the field”.
Council planners write that the proposed car park for the site would fit nine vehicles and would use “grass-crete” in an aim not to harm the Green Belt.
They say dog agility equipment such as tyres for dogs to climb on and jump through have already been placed on the site, but do not require planning permission.
Officers write: “It is understood that any dog faeces will be removed from the site by users of the site as is normal practice for dog walkers.”
They say the site would be open from 7.30am until 6.30pm Monday through Saturday, with no activity on Sundays or Bank Holidays.
Officers say this is considered acceptable, “would minimise the potential for disturbance for local residents” and use of the site in winter months would be reduced due to lack of any lighting.
They write: “Notwithstanding the objections from local residents it is considered that the nature of the outdoor use is relatively small scale and the impact from noise (of dogs barking) would be unlikely to be sufficient to warrant refusal of the application on this basis alone.
“Any additional development proposed in the future would be judged on its own merits. As the site lies within the Green Belt, development is strictly controlled. The economic benefits for the applicant are not material to the outcome of this application.”
The council’s licensing officer has confirmed that neither dog walking or agility lessons require a licence under the Animal Welfare (Licencing of Activities Involving Animals) (England) Regulations 2018.