Dog exercise park to be created near to M62 in West Yorkshire

Fields in West Yorkshire are set to become a dog exercise area under new plans.

The 1.5 acres of grazing land close to Blue Hills Farm on Whitehall Road West in Birkenshaw will be used by up to three animals at a time as a “dog park” from 7am to 7pm Monday to Sunday all year round.

It was approved by councillors at Kirklees Council’s Strategic Planning Committee on January 27.

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The grassed area, which is currently green belt, is close to the headquarters of West Yorkshire Fire and Rescue as well as an 8.7-acre site allocated for 123 homes as part of the council’s Local Plan.

The land is currently used as a grazing areaThe land is currently used as a grazing area
The land is currently used as a grazing area

Members of the committee voted unanimously in favour of the project and accepted that the rural nature of the area meant limited disruption for people living nearby.

The committee’s approval comes as usage of private land for dog exercise is growing, particularly during the ongoing pandemic.

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Dog owners across the country are hiring enclosed fields in which their animals can run around.

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According to the website around 2,270 acres is being used each week, with the data resulting from the 756 fields in its directory. Hire costs per hour are around £10.

Some farmers who have spent in the region of £15,000 making a field secure can stand to make around £400 a week in hire costs during peak periods.

Councillors in Kirklees expressed their hope that the Birkenshaw fields would be “absolutely” securely fenced due to the proximity of the M62 motorway.

Coun Donna Bellamy said: “I would hate for dogs to end up on the M62 because I could see that being a real recipe for disaster.”