A DOG park has received planning permission, more than two years after opening.

The Dog Paddocks’ secure field in Lower Whitley has finally been given the green light.

The planning application submitted to Cheshire West and Chester Council was initially refused.

However, following an appeal, the facility which users describe as 'vital', will be allowed to continue operating.

Celebrating the news, company director Steph Cheadle said: “I am absolutely ecstatic to get approval.

“Since we opened we have had more than 1,000 customers use the field, which demonstrates to me that such a facility is needed.

“We are overjoyed as a business but also for our customers, as we can continue to provide our service for them.

“I’m over the moon.”

Northwich Guardian: Stephanie and her dog JaxStephanie and her dog Jax (Image: Supplied)

Steph decided to set up the business following her experiences with her rescue dog Jax, a Labrador cross.

She found that when walking Jax and her late dog Bailey, they would sometimes become reactive.

“It was never anything too dramatic, though I did use to call them Ronnie and Reggie Kray,” Steph added.

“Sometimes it could be quite stressful, especially as other people would have their dogs off the lead and they would come bounding over.

“I had one incident where a man had zero control over his Collie. He was on the opposite side of the field and the dog started herding us, baring its teeth and circling us.

“This made me think, wouldn’t it be nice if you could take your dog somewhere, not have to deal with others and have a place to do recall training.”

Northwich Guardian: Some of the happy customers at The Dog PaddocksSome of the happy customers at The Dog Paddocks (Image: Supplied)

Realising there was no such facility in the area, Steph opened her first secure dog field in Middlewich in 2019.

Five more sites have opened since then, including the Lower Whitley field on Marsh Lane, which Steph owns herself.

The site opened in 2021 under permitted development and a planning application was submitted to the council.

However, it was refused, with the council stating the development 'gives rise to a harmful urbanising impact upon the intrinsic character and appearance of the countryside'.

Northwich Guardian: The planning application was initially refusedThe planning application was initially refused (Image: Supplied)

An appeal submitted by Fisher German, on Steph’s behalf, read: “It is recognised that all planning applications are determined on their own merits, but in this case it seems very difficult to understand how it can be impactful on the openness of the Green Belt, character and landscape when officers have referenced the same policy in other approved examples positively.”

The appeal was supported by a number of the field’s customers.

One said: “This business provides a vital service for the local community.”

Another added: “This field is invaluable to me and my rescue dog.

“This field is the only place where I can safely let him run free, and practice recall, safe in the knowledge he can't escape.

“I honestly don't know what I'd do if this field was no longer available for use.”

On Tuesday (January 9), the appeal was approved by the planning inspectorate.