PLANS to create two dog walking fields in a Cotswold town have split opinion.

Christina Oughton wants permission to change the use of a paddock in Moretonto provide a secure place for dog walking on land west of Parkers Lane.

Her plans which are due to be considered by Cotswold District Council this week have received objections from the town council and 20 residents.

On the other hand, some 17 letters which support the proposals have also been sent to the authority.

Ward councillor Daryl Corps (C, Moreton West) referred the scheme to be considered by the planning committee due to it being “very unusual” and certainly a first for the town.

“The vice chairperson of Moreton Town Council also believes that this application requires deeper scrutiny to expose unforeseen consequences,” he said.

“Change of use from agricultural grazing should not be undertaken lightly and this application will inevitably lead to a peripheral urbanisation.”

However, supporters say there are no other secure dog-walking facilities in Moreton-in-Marsh to allow nervous or easily spooked dogs off lead.

They say the development would provide a useful facility for safely doing off-lead training and reduce the risk for livestock attacks.

If approved, the site would be available for booking from 7.30am to 8pm, Monday to Friday and 9am to 6pm at the weekends and on bank holidays.

The bookings would be in 50-minute blocks to stagger user arrival and departure times with bookings for one field starting on the hour and for the other at half past the hour.

An access code would be provided on booking, which would be changed regularly to ensure that the site remains secure and used only when booked.

The proposals include new fencing which would be placed up to 13ft in from the site boundary, with a wider margin along the northern edge to allow access to the western field from the parking area.

And a 5ft9ins-high fence would subdivide the site roughly in half on a north-south axis, along the line of an existing hedgerow that partially divides the site.

Two parking spaces would also be provided on new hardstanding in the north eastern corner of the field, at the western end of Parkers Lane, with surrounding timber post and rail fencing.

Officers have recommended granting permission as the development accords with the relevant requirements of the Cotswold District Local Development Plan.

However, the decision will be up to the planning and licensing committee which meets at the council’s Trinity Road offices in Cirencester on October 11.