Chorley farm field to become dog exercise business
An agricultural field in Mawdesley will be converted into a secure dog exercise enclosure after councillors unleashed the plans in the face of opposition from some of those living nearby.
Seven objections were submitted to the proposed facility off Wood Lane in the village – with concerns including the potential for noise from the free-running canines and disturbance caused by additional traffic.
Village resident Barry Bibby warned a meeting of Chorley Council’s planning committee that “dogs’ barking travels and disturbs other local dogs as well”.
He added that the single-track route was not suitable for the “significant increase” in vehicles that would come from customers of the new business.
Meanwhile, committee member Martin Boardman questioned the need for the venture.
“I still can’t get my head around why a field with a fence around it is required to walk your dog. There is around 22 square miles [of fields] 200 yards away…which is perfectly adequate to walk your dog on.
“I walk Wood Lane a lot and and the surrounding area and the route down to the Croston and Mawdesley Moss is very scenic and peaceful. I was coming out of the Moss on Sunday morning and all I could hear was the birds cheeping.
“There is no doubt that this type of operation will [cause] a loss of amenity in that local area…for everybody that uses [it],” Cllr Boardman added.
However, a report by the council’s planning officers concluded that while some noise would be generated by the facility, it would not result in “unacceptable impacts” in that or any other respect. The meeting heard that the nearest properties were at least 97 metres away.
Five car parking spaces will be created at the site, but use of the field will largely be limited to single bookings for a maximum of six dogs at a time. The only exception would be for weekly group social or training sessions, which will last no longer than an hour and not begin before 11am.
Planning agent Chris Weetman described the planned use of the field as “limited”.
“People can come and go by the hour. Essentially, a car will arrive at, let’s say, 11am and leave at 12noon – and another car may arrive [then].”
Committee member Alistair Morwood said he had been contacted by dog owners for whom the facility would be “an absolute necessity, particularly for those who [live] in town and don’t have a lot of green areas”.
Cllr June Molyneaux, who chairs the committee, added: “Some people don’t like to take their dogs off the lead in the countryside…they like to exercise them in a secure field, especially if [they] have got a nervous or a rescue dog.”
A condition will limit the hours of operation of the business to between 7am and 8pm on weekdays from April to September and 9am and 7pm at the weekend.
Between October and March, it can open from 8am to 4pm on weekdays and 9am to 4pm of a weekend.
The applicant had wanted the facility to be available from as early as 6am through to 9pm during summer weekdays.
The committee approved the application by a majority of nine votes to four.