Plan for 'safe' dog-walking field near coast splits views

Dr Victoria Holliday, North Norfolk District Council Coastal ward councillor.

Dr Victoria Holliday, North Norfolk District Council Coastal ward councillor. - Credit: Dr Victoria Holliday,

Plans to turn two acres of farm land into a dog walking field where people could take their pets "without fear of attack from other dogs" have split opinions. 

An application from Annette Rigby to turn the land on the south side of Coast Road, Wiveton, into a dog walking field bound by a 1.8 metre security fence has gone before North Norfolk District Council. There would be two wooden huts built on the site, one for equipment storage and the other a shelter for dog walkers. 

But although the council has received nine letters in support of the plan, Wiveton and Blakeney parish councils and Dr Victoria Holliday, the district councillor for the ward, are among seven objectors.

There are plans for a dog walking field in Wiveton, off the Coast Road. 

There are plans for a dog walking field in Wiveton, off the Coast Road. - Credit: Google Maps

The application says dog attacks on people, as well as other dogs, cats and livestock, were on the rise. 

It says: "Indeed, there was a dog attack on a woman in Sheringham who suffered very serious injury.

"This dog field will be made available to owners of dogs who are subject to control orders.

"Some dogs are aggressive with other dogs and some timid or nervous, the benefits of a walking field is that it is a safe, controlled and enclosed space to exercise dogs off lead."

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But the parish councils say the plans would be incompatible with the Norfolk Coast Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB), and Wiveton council say the fencing would bring "an unacceptable industrialised look to the local area".

Dr Holliday's objection added: "The perimeter fence will be visually intrusive. The two wooden huts and proposed vehicle movements represent domestication and suburbanisation of the landscape."

Dr Holliday said the plan would not fit with the AONB or the 'rolling heath' and 'arable' character of the landscape. 

But a council officer's report recommends the dog walking field for approval.

The report says the main physical change to the site would be the two "modest-sized" sheds, which would not detract from the views of the landscape beyond.

NNDC's development committee will consider the plans at its May 12 meeting.