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Do you have a paddock or an awkward-shaped field, roughly under an acre, which offers minimal use for agricultural purposes? Graduate Planner Nia Borsey, based in our Chester office, looks at ways landowners can utilise every corner of their land. Previously printed in the Shropshire Star ‘Farming Talk’ series.

As planners we are seeing a new diversification trend, this being the dog exercise area - an area where the public can pay to exercise their dogs in a safe and secure location, often with agility obstacles provided.

The idea has become popular in Cheshire and we have had numerous clients essentially jumping on the bandwagon to gain a low input diversification use on land with little agricultural value to them.

A planning application is required to change the use of land to an area used to exercise dogs. There is no physical permanent development happening on the site, so in most local planning policy it is viewed as an acceptable use in open countryside and supports rural and farm diversification.

Suitable fencing is to be provided to create a secure area, sufficient parking for visitors and the inclusions of agility obstacles provides something different to a standard field – especially if the customer is paying to use the space.

The booking and payment system can all be managed online, meaning it’s an income driver which does not require a person to be on site constantly.

The land is required to be in a logical location, with easy access to a road and suitable places to park. Land not far from key settlements will be the most successful. Please get in touch if you would like further information on creating these areas or would like to submit a planning application.

At Fisher German creative solutions are our forte, so if you’re interested in exploring diversification opportunities for your land don’t hesitate to give us a call or click here to find out more.