DOG walkers will be able to exercise their pets in a purpose-built compound in Ide after council planners gave a scheme the go-ahead.

But villagers say the amount of traffic the new dog-walking site will generate is unacceptable.

Teignbridge Council’s planning committee agreed plans to change an agricultural field off Idestone Lane into a dog-walking field for private hire.

Owners will be able to book half-hour sessions at the field, with only one owner allowed with a maximum of four dogs at a time.

The field contains its own scheduled monument – a Roman signal station where a coin and pottery were found – but this will be protected by sturdy fences.

Ide Parish Council objected to the plan and opponent James Studholme said there had been 31 individual objections. 

He said while Devon County Council’s highways experts had raised no issues over use of the narrow lane leading to the field, he knew of a number of car accidents there.

He said: ‘Even a small number of extra cars would produce a disproportionate impact.

‘The clientele will come from afar, and by car.’

Cllr John Parrott said the strength of local feeling should not be overlooked. 

And he was concerned allowing agricultural land to be repurposed for commercial use would set a dangerous precedent.

He said: ‘I’m a dog owner. In principle I am very supportive of dog walking sites, but they have got to be in the right location and I genuinely don’t believe this site is the right location.’

But his bid to have the plan thrown out was lost, and the committee gave it the go-ahead by a five-vote majority.

Cllr Janet Bradford said such dog parks were desperately needed.

She said: ‘Some dogs are much better walked on their own, or with dogs that they know.’

Cllr Stephen Purser added: ‘Because of Covid a lot of people have dogs which are not socialised.

‘Places like this are essential for dogs to get the exercise they need in a secure environment.

‘I know the lane is narrow, but we live in Devon. There are a lot of narrow lanes.'