Concerns raised over proposed access to dog exercise area

B1149 Edgefield

North Norfolk District Council (NNDC) has raised concerns over the proposed use of a track, off the B1149 in Edgefield, for access to a dog exercise area. - Credit: Google Maps

A north Norfolk entrepreneur who started up a dog walking business during lockdown is facing a battle over safe road access to the site.

The canine exercise area, on land at the top of Sands Loke in Edgefield, near Holt, has been operating since May last year without planning permission.

Caroline Sands, from Sheringham, is now applying for retrospective approval to change the use of the land from agricultural to dog exercise area. 

The Edgefield village sign. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY

The Edgefield village sign. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY - Credit: Copyright: Archant 2018

It is the second time she has applied for such permission, after a first bid was rejected last December by North Norfolk District Council (NNDC) over concerns about highway safety at the site's entrance.

A planning statement submitted with the current application states that the site has been used as a dog exercise area since May last year, but the applicant was "unaware" planning permission would be required until she was contacted by planning enforcement in autumn last year.

Ms Sands then submitted an application for change of use in September.

This was rejected because the council felt the site would create "an unwarranted increase in the use of a substandard access onto the B1149 via an agricultural track which is unsuitable for two-way traffic movement".

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At the time, the council said there was no evidence that the use of the land for a dog exercise enclosure with associated car parking was capable of being served by safe access to the road and that it would be "detrimental to road safety".

Ms Sands has now submitted a new application proposing the addition of a layby along the private track off the B1149 which would enable vehicles to pass one another.

Plans also include parking for up to seven cars.

The application states that only one vehicle would be accessing the site on any given weekday, while on the weekends up to six customers would travel to and from the site to attend group sessions.

It is estimated the maximum number of weekly vehicle trips will not exceed 40.

According to the proposal, the site has been operating since May 2021 without any accidents.

The facility would be open from 9am to 6pm everyday.