PEOPLE hoping to turn a Dobcross field into an area where dog owners can exercise their animals have moved to allay fears surrounding the plan.
Several residents voiced their concerns over an application to turn land at Butterhouse Lane, close to its junction with Brownhill Lane, into the Dogcross Field and Agility Park.
But Cara Knox, one of the people behind the scheme, countered many of the reactions to their project.
She said: “The land is owned by someone who has two horses, three dogs, a cat. There’s not going to be any disruption to any neighbour.
“It’s going to be in her field, which currently has three dogs roaming around and they’re not enclosed.
“I actually met a couple of people who’d rescued a dog while I was out walking mine and they said, ‘Be careful. This dog had its tail savaged by two others that were on a lead’.
“We’re not putting big floodlights up. It won’t be all singing and dancing. You literally would not be able to see it off the lane.
“All you’d see is the entrance, if it gets to go-ahead. Even if it’s a case of people having to walk up, we’re happy to do that.
“It’s just making use of a field that’s basically sat there doing nothing and we just want to provide a safe environment.
“Many people have said, ‘That’s such a good idea’.
“We’re also willing to offer local charities free sessions for them to walk their dogs.”
The prospect of more traffic heading along Butterhouse Lane and access to the area – with claims work done is illegal – is the main concern.
It could operate from 7am until 9pm from Monday to Saturday and from 9am until 9pm on Sunday, with hours to be further dictated by darkness.
Dog walkers would be allocated pre-booked time slots, with a maximum of six dogs and three cars allowed at one allocated session.
But Cara insisted those figures are just a maximum possible and if Oldham Council says they must operate for a shorter time or with fewer animals, so be it.
She added: “If the council says ‘You’re only allowed two dogs,’ that’s fine. If they say ‘You can only open from 10am-2pm,’ that’s fine.
“We just want to provide a service to Saddleworth. There is another field not far from us but it’s booked months and months in advance.”