A SECURE dog walking paddock could be created in a rural part of Wrexham for owners to walk their pets ‘off the lead’.
The council’s planning department has received a change of use application for agricultural land next to the B5445 on land south of Lavister, Rossett.
The applicants behind the proposals, the Woollam family who own the farmland near Chester Road, are looking for a way to diversify with this change of use plan.
They are seeking to create the paddock to enable dog owners to exercise their pets off the lead in a safe space. Measures would be put in place to protect against dog theft as part of the proposals.
An outline of the plans has been put forward in a justification statement drawn up by Roger Parry and Partners LLP and submitted with the application.
This says: “The proposal is for a change of use of agricultural land that will provide a secure paddock, that will allow local people and visitors to the area access to a safe and secure area to exercise their dogs.
“The proposed dog walking area will cover 0.62 hectares and will have a single secure paddock with a small car parking area. The proposed site will be accessed through an existing established access off the B5445 with appropriate visibility splays in both directions.”
It adds that the change of use of the paddock would allow people living locally and visitors to the area a safe place so they can walk their dog off the lead.
The paddock would have specialised fencing to ensure that the loose dogs are secure and safe. The site would also have a small parking area for visitors and would use the existing access.
“All dog walking sessions are to be pre-booked for up to 55 minute slots”, the planning justification statement adds.
“Dog walkers will not be able to just turn up speculatively. The paddock will be booked exclusively for the dog or dogs and their owners.
“The number of dog owners are increasing every year and one of the most important parts of owning a dog is to ensure they have regular walks and get the exercise they require to stay healthy.
“Off leash walking has proven benefits to a dog’s mental and physical health, there are very few secure locations available where dog owners can allow their dogs to run without being on a lead.
“The majority of public areas and beaches that allow dogs have a strict ‘on lead’ policy. Training is a huge part of dog management and ownership, recall being one of the most fundamental commands of all.
“It is incredibly difficult to train this important command if you do not have access to a secure location to allow your dog to be unleashed.
The proposal will provide a secure environment where owners can train their dogs, thus ensuring a better and healthier life for the dogs.”
The increasing problem of dog thefts has also been covered in the planning statement.
“Dog theft has dramatically soared during the pandemic, as the nation’s lockdowns resulted in a growing demand for puppies”, it says.
“Between March and August 2020, The Kennel Club saw a 161 per cent rise in puppy searches via its website, compared with the same period in 2019 and the price for sought after breeds has skyrocketed.
“With targeted dogs stolen to be sold on, bred or held for ransom. DogLost (rescue organisation) witnessed dog theft increase by 250 per cent last year.
“The proposal will be a secure paddock where the owners can always see their dog, there will also be a booking system and unauthorised visitors will not be allowed on site.”
Wrexham Council planners will make a decision on the proposals at a future date.