New plans for ‘pay as you walk’ site for dog owners in York

A field used as a dog walking site where pet owners can pay to walk their pups in a secure space could become a permanent fixture.

The site off Brecks Lane in Strensall is already used by dog walkers, who pay £8 an hour to bring up to three dogs to the venue.

And it has proven so popular that the owners have applied for planning permission to permanently turn the site into a space for owners to exercise or train dogs.

The field is surrounded by a 5.5ft-high fence and has a timber bench made from a railway sleeper.

Dog owners must clean up after their pets.

Plans for 550 homes to be built on the Queen Elizabeth Barracks could go ahead under the Local Plan – and Natural England has already raised concerns about the impact of a significant increase in the number of new residents walking their dogs in the village.

A planning statement for the dog walking field says there are also a lot of adders in Strensall Common and warned the poisonous snakes can kill dogs.

A spokesperson for the business, Strensall Dog Walking, adds that new developments in and around the village could bring an extra 900 dogs to the area.

They said: “Dog walking fields are growing in popularity around the country since many owners have difficulty finding suitable exercise areas where they can let their dogs run free.

“We’re lucky in Strensall since we have the common on our doorstep, but many walkers find they have restricted access at certain times of the year due to the presence of livestock, in particular during lambing season.

“Many of our customers have dogs in training or that don’t mix well with others.”

They added that dog fouling could also be reduced if people walked their pets at a privately managed site.

The planning application says: “Feedback has been very good and demand steady so over time the applicant expects it to be a viable enterprise. Having a large private area to run free is life changing for some dogs.”

The applicant had discussions with local residents who indicated they’d love a dog walking facility nearby.

There are discounts for residents of Strensall and people in financial hardship.