Aldridge fields to be turned into bookable dog walking area
Two fields in Walsall are being turned into a private dog walking area after plans were approved by the council.
Walsall Council planners have given the thumbs up to an application by developer David Murray to convert two fields next to the Royal Oak pub in Bosty Lane into a dog walking and exercise facility.
Mr Murray said the increasing need for canines to be kept on leads in public spaces meant dogs were not getting the full exercise they needed while ‘recall training’ could not be carried out.
He also said there was a demand for such a facility in Walsall as people were having to travel further out with their pets just to be able to let them loose where they would not encounter problems.
The site is currently used for grazing horses all year around and the dog exercise facility will see the fields available to book for 50 minute slots, starting on the hour and half past the hour.
A new access road into the fields will be created from Bosty Lane under the plans, which say there will be no onsite manager for the "low-key enterprise" and that bins will be in place for dog waste.
Opening hours would be 8am to 4pm between October and February and 7am to 8pm between April and September.
Mr Murray said: “Local authority parks are coming under pressure with this increase in dog ownership, yet there is also an increase in the requirement to keep dogs on leads in public areas, for well understood reasons.
“Dogs of all sizes need regular exercise, and whilst walking a dog on a lead can provide this for both the dog and the owner, the benefit is limited as the dogs are unable to run and play, which can only be achieved when they are 'off-lead'.
“Recall training is also something that cannot be done on a leash and anxious or potentially reactive dogs cannot always access local authority parks, for obvious reasons.
“The proposed facility will provide a space where dogs can be exercised off-lead with no impact on or interaction with, the general public and reduce the pressure on public space usage.
“Currently, dog owners who want to access this type of facility have to travel significant distances and a local facility for Walsall would help to minimise traffic movements within the region.
“The facility is also within walking distance of large residential areas.”