Plan for dog walking meadow prompts road safety fears

North Barsham field

The approximate outline of a dog walking and exercise field in North Barsham, near Fakenham. - Credit: Google

Road safety fears have been raised after plans were lodged for a new dog walking meadow. 

Approval of the proposal, submitted to North Norfolk District Council (NNDC), would result in the change of use of agricultural land in North Barsham.

But Francis Chapman, parish councillor for Barsham and Houghton St Giles, has objected due to the presence of blind bends on the country lanes leading into Barsham. 

He said a number of accidents have taken place there over the years, including one which saw his wife hit by a car. 

But Stuart Laws, estate manager for the applicant, Keith Farms Partnership, said the dog field would address existing safety concerns due to people walking pets there instead. 

Mr Chapman maintained, however, that he was still concerned over the potential presence of extra traffic on tiny lanes in and around the village. 

He said: "My concern is that the extra traffic, together with the Catholic shrine traffic (towards Walsingham) - particularly at weekends - will lead to danger for all concerned on these tiny roads.

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“There was a very bad accident about three years ago in the village, when one of the residents was hit by a speeding car. My wife was also hit  in the village by a speeding car which could not stop when there was ice on the road.

“Both these accidents were on separate, right-angle bends."

Documents submitted to the council say existing movement of traffic in the area is minimal, at around one car per hour, meaning approval of the dog walking meadow would likely result in a very small uplift. 

The boundary around the field is intended to give walkers peace of mind that their dogs cannot escape onto the road.

Mr Laws added: “As a result of the increased demand for spaces to walk dogs, we have identified this development as a space to facilitate this.

“I want to provide an area in which dog walkers can safely and securely walk their pets. 

"It will increase traffic minimally. We are trying to facilitate this to reduce some of the safety concerns already on the road, with people walking their dogs on them."

To view the application, visit the district council planning portal and search for reference PF/22/1494.