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Freckenham dog training park, near Newmarket and Bury St Edmunds, decision due following delays

By: Joao Santos, Local Democracy Reporter joao.santos@iliffepublishing.co.uk

Published: 11:59, 05 February 2024

A decision on a new dog training park in a Suffolk village is expected this week following initial delays.

The application would see an agricultural field off Fordham Road, outside Freckenham’s settlement boundary, near Newmarket and Bury St Edmunds, turned into a dog training and exercise park.

The initial decision was delayed last month during a development control committee meeting after councillors decided they were minded to approve the application despite officers’ recommendations for refusal.

Site location for Freckenham dog park. Picture: Google Maps

The applicants, Messers Cannam, Cross, and Whitehead, said a new dog park would be beneficial to the community and help to tackle issues with dog fouling.

In a statement, they said: “A secure dog park is becoming a need for many as a majority of countryside walks are interrupted by busy roads, livestock in fields and conservation areas which makes letting dogs off their leads very stressful and, in some cases, impossible.

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“We believe that a nice secure and peaceful environment will be very beneficial to all dog owners.”

Following last month’s meeting, a risk assessment report was prepared as the application is due back on Wednesday to be considered by committee members.

Outlined in the new report, is the applicants’ plans for behaviour training to be the the main feature of the park, as well as proposals for a 1.8m high grey or silver fence to surround the site, with hedge planting as high as 1.5m to mitigate the fence’s visual impact.

Despite the report, however, officers still believe the new fencing, which resembles other dog training facilities in the district, alongside car parking and bins, would lead to an adverse impact on the character of the landscape and have kept their recommendation for refusal.

This is despite the application being supported by both the ward member, Cllr Dave Taylor, and the parish council, with only one third-party objection lodged during the course of the application.

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