Plans to create a dog walking field in a village have received the green light.

Proposals were put forward in February to change the use of agricultural land at Gwalia Fields in Overton to allow dog owners to safely walk their pets outdoors.

Documents show the facility off the B5069 would cover an area of approximately 2.5 acres, which would be fenced off to prevent the dogs from running away.

Representatives for farm owner Dennis Nicholls, who is behind the scheme, said he was looking to diversify his business.

They said the application was submitted in response to local demand for private walking facilities on social media.

The proposals have now been approved by planning officers from Wrexham Council using delegated powers.

Whitchurch Herald:

In a statement previously entered alongside the plans, architects acting for Mr Nicholls said: “The farm business is pursuing ways to maintain its viability and seeks to diversify income streams away from direct agricultural produce.

“This can be achieved through the provision of a community service for dog exercising as well as the promotion of the health and well-being exercise for local residents and the community.

“The applicant has identified a demand for this use through social media interest generated on local Facebook pages and the request for more exclusive and private facilities in light of social distancing and Covid-19.

“The requirements for dog owners and their dogs to exercise safely outdoors, the increase in dog ownership and the rise in the frequency of walking are also contributing factors for the demand for this kind of community facility.

“The income from this diversification stream will support the farm to withstand the economic fluctuations within the farming industry and enable it to continue its viable operations.”

The proposals will see customers able to book the field for 30-minute sessions using an online system.

Three parking spaces will be provided for customers, alongside dog waste bins which will be emptied twice a week.

The architects said only people who have booked ahead will be able to use the field.

They added: “The fence will enable people to walk with their dogs off lead without the worry of them running away.

“This service will particularly appeal to those owners who have dogs which may be nervous or antisocial, have poor recall, a disability or may be an area for initial puppy training away from other dogs.

“A dog walking field set in the rural countryside which is easily accessible will be a valuable addition to the dog walking community in and around Overton.”