RESCUE dogs at a Shoreham rehoming centre will no doubt be wagging their tales at the prospect of 32 acres of open farmland in which to exercise.
Dogs Trust Shoreham was granted permission to turn a large plot of land east of New Salts Farm in Lancing into dog-walking land at the latest meeting of Adur Council’s planning committee.
But the Dogs Trust is yet to make a bid to buy the land, and a spokesman for the charity said the process was in its early stages.
“We have put in an application for this land simply to use this as an area to walk our dogs in a quiet and peaceful setting away from the busy confines of our rehoming centre,” she said.
The centre currently has a three-acre paddock in which the dogs can exercise, but this move would give them ten times more space.
Councillor Mike Mendoza said he could not think of a better use for the land.
“I would hate to see this built on for anything,” he said. “It’s a safe environment for them, it’s a wonderful organisation and I support this 100 per cent.”
Widewater ward councillor Geoff Patmore said he was glad, as the move would protect the land from potential developers.
Although the Dogs Trust has no plans to put any buildings on the site, Mr Patmore said he was concerned it might open the door for potential development in future.
“This is major flood plain with major water courses flowing though it,” he said.
Mr Patmore also raised concerns about the potential impact on wildlife and the many species that inhabit the land.
Councillor Brian Coomber, standing in for David Donaldson, said: “There are questions about wildlife but I think this centre’s reputation is so high I don’t think they are going to go out of their way to cause a problem.”
The land, which borders Shoreham Airport to the north, went up for sale in June as part of a larger plot valued at £1million.
It was described by agent Batcheller Monkhouse as ‘an excellent capital investment opportunity’ with ‘future development potential’.
The news will no doubt be welcomed by residents who wish to see the land remain open and free from development.
Mr Coomber said: “To keep this open is very good PR as far as the council is concerned but also helps the people who live in the area and walk along the river. They are still seeing an open field and the Downs and not something that’s a concrete block. I’m certainly in favour of this.”
Russel Parkes, of estate agents Batcheller Monkhouse, was unavailable for comment.