Plans for dog exercise business in Green Belt refused

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Plans to change the use of green belt land off Altrincham Road from agriculture to a dog exercise area have been refused.

The proposal to use the field, which is adjacent to the Honey Bee public house, for the business purposes of exercising dogs were refused by Cheshire East Council on the grounds that it would harm the openness of the Green Belt and here are no very special circumstances to justify this inappropriate development.

The field would be enclosed with a 2m high fencing with access from a stub off the former main carriageway and a new pedestrian access will be created. The field would be available to book for 1 hour slots during daylight hours and will only be available for one customer per slot.

However, the planning officer stated that the proposed fencing "would introduce an intrusive, industrial appearance element to this Local Landscape Designated Area and Area of Special County Value. The structure would appear incongruous in this rural, open location, and lead to an undermining of the sense of place of this area".

The planning application can be viewed on the Cheshire East Council planning portal by searching for planning reference 19/5216M.

Altrincham Road, Planning Applications


Here's what readers have had to say so far. Why not add your thoughts below.

Mark Russell
Sunday 26th April 2020 at 4:04 pm
When are these idiots at the council realise we need business and jobs in the town. We can’t have coffee shops everywhere. A good idea which I’m sure would do well around here.

Perhaps they should stick to half blocking car parks and let the business people provide for the residents of Wilmslow.
Vince Chadwick
Sunday 26th April 2020 at 5:37 pm
This questionable proposal would have been entirely inappropriate for many reasons, not least industrial-style fencing in the greenbelt in an area where the National Trust have recently acquired land to regenerate traditional pre-intensive-farming countryside for us all to enjoy.

The NT initiative, as well as preventing other developments like this, will limit the spread of industrial Airport-related warehousing we are seeing further up Altrincham Road from encroaching on the outskirts of Wilmslow. The ugly change in the character of the countryside this proposal would have brought could only be a catalyst for further loss of the precious green boundary between the Airport's expansion and Wilmlsow.

Well done planners!
John Gibbons
Sunday 26th April 2020 at 5:38 pm
Not sure I agree Mark. If it wasn’t greenbelt, maybe, but it’s only a short step after this that the field gets used for other purposes. Caravan parks have been refused siting for similar reasons, be careful what you wish for.
Pete Taylor
Sunday 26th April 2020 at 8:58 pm
@Mark Russell: did you read all the documents in the public domain? If so, your, somewhat vitriolic, comments might suggest that you have a vested interest.
Failing that, you may, perhaps, have misjudged the situation?
Fred Rayers
Sunday 26th April 2020 at 9:02 pm
The next step would have been "oh dear the business isn't working (the maths don't add up for a start anyway) so let's build on it".
Mark Russell
Monday 27th April 2020 at 7:11 am
My vested interest is people having jobs. So are we saying we can not put fences up now? How did waters get planning permission?

Double standards.
Chris Neill
Monday 27th April 2020 at 10:28 am
The right decision to stop the steady erosion of our fragile landscape and surrounding protected areas. Well done to those who turned it down.
This "jobs" thing is old hat now and isn't a reason in itself. You could argue that we should continue to bulldoze the rainforest because it creates jobs.
No, the other implications override this and we can be more creative on the job front without damage to the area.
Mark Russell
Monday 27th April 2020 at 2:52 pm
Ok Chris. So this isn’t a creative use of land, like you say we should be doing. What would you call it? It’s exactly the new forward thinking sort of business we need here, dog walkers make a lot of money around here and this business is another branch of that sector.

And who is going to employ the at least one million people who are going to out of work because of this virus.

I find it amazing people think a field is more important than people supporting their families.

I hope for your sake you never find yourself on £80 a week, because I think your opinion would change very quick.
Rick Andrews
Monday 27th April 2020 at 6:26 pm
Waters was a long established laboratory site for over 40 years, so was not a change of use and brought hundreds of jobs. The dog walking proposal had no staff other than a remote owner taking walkers fees. Potentially another airport car park Trojan horse??? The airport is creeping along the A538.
Jon Williams
Monday 27th April 2020 at 6:54 pm
Waters should have been built on a Brown field site, not in the Cheshire countryside.
The dog exercise area would still retain it's green field
Pete Taylor
Monday 27th April 2020 at 8:31 pm
@Jon Williams... you don't remember Huntingdon Life Sciences, all the protests about experimenting on dogs, plus sundry other animals? The Waters building is a terrible intrusion but; it was (partially) brown-field. That was a battle we fought and lost, this latest application is on Green Belt.
Guy Beardsley
Tuesday 28th April 2020 at 10:31 am
Hi Pete

To share a different opinion.

The Waters building is a fabulous design and is an amazing gateway into Wilmslow from the Motorway. It provides significant employment and wealth to the area and the business also sponsors events like the half marathon.

It is a fantastic addition to this wonderful area we live in

As I have said to others in previous posts, at some point your house was a green field yet I assume you are happy to be living there.


Robert Collins
Wednesday 29th April 2020 at 2:49 pm
Good on you Council - the right decision! Hang on to the precious green belt for as long as you can.
Paul Millett
Wednesday 29th April 2020 at 3:08 pm
I just need to point out that the National Trust didn't stop the second runway at Manchester International Airport! As for the fencing question, so what? Fencing in the countryside? Whatever next? People walking their dogs?
John Harries
Wednesday 29th April 2020 at 6:40 pm
I commented negatively when this was first proposed (last year I think).
On the face of things a nice simple idea which 'almost' falls within greenbelt criteria but it's the change of use that opens the way for some developer in the future - these people think long term and then try to shorten that term with all sorts of ruses to attain their original goal - flipping their purchase for a great deal of profit with absolutely no regard for where they do it; Waters was a new build brownfield site more or less replacing two previous scientific related businesses dating back to the 40's, not even a change of use so I offer The Colony (opposite Waters) as an example - originally a small working farm, then an even smaller kennels within the existing building footprint, then a new build 'office and showroom' that then got retrospective planning for a much larger development than the original farm buildings (IMHO that should never have happened but an otherwise acceptable structural enhancement/design) that once completed the owners then applied for a 7 day music lincence!! Dog exercise business, for sure by any other named four legged animal, a trojan horse; right decision if you value Wilmslow and the local area.
Mark Russell, not withstanding the present unprecedented threat to the national economy, Wilmslow does not 'need' jobs, the place is already saturated with itinerate workers and traffic congestion (which together, surprise surprise, jack up the angst to create more parking space etc.) and likewise in my opinion does not gain from any further expansion/ development as some sort of irrational justification to fulfil your own prediction of virus armageddon.
In that same vein I trust the hotel development proposed for Green Lane also gets the rational planning thumbs down - the centre of Wilmslow needs more open spaces planned into any future development, not overbuilding - terrible siting and an unnecessary requirement.
Paul Maddock
Tuesday 19th May 2020 at 10:00 am
Mark Russell,
How many jobs do you think are being created by this proposal of 2m high fencing off green belt land? How many people does it take to book in an hourly visitor rate of one booking per hour - I would suggest one person. Maintenance? Also carried out by the same person, maybe one other contractor to mow the grass every few weeks. I hardly think this downgrading of greenbelt land and the future opening up to longer term development is justified by your 'employment and jobs' argument. Wilmslow Hardly needs more elitist locations - especially for anyone who would want to book a private dog walking area just so they can avoid mixing with the riff raff in places close by such as the common or the carrs, where there is ample provision for dog walking.
God forbid their pampered pouches might come into contact with some wretched commoners hound in such a dirty awful kept public place!!
The usage is a joke, the scheme is a front for later change of use and development with no actual job creation at all. Time for those living in their ivory towers to leave their comfortable private little castles and join the real world the rest of us commoners have to inhabit.
If you do not have a vested interest in this development then you are in need of a serious dose of reality!