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Wednesday, 19 September 2018 06:56 pm

Hutt locals question proposed dog park

LOCAL residents are questioning the placement of a proposed dog park in Woburn.

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Monty the golden retriever at Pohutukawa Reserve, site of the proposed dog park.

The public reserve on Pohutukawa Street has been selected by the Hutt City Council as the possible site for a dog park in a year-long trial.

Residents were made aware of the proposed plans in a flyer dated August 4.

The council says the park would be a fenced area within the existing reserve with water made available for dogs, and seating for owners.

Juliane Ludwig, who lives opposite the proposed site, says she supports the establishment of a fenced dog park but thinks it should be away from residential areas.

She says residents in the immediate vicinity of a dog park would have to contend with noise, smell and dogs fouling in the area.

President of the Massey Avenue Bowling Club, Paulette Carr, which is across the road from the proposed site, has concerns about the impact on car parking in the area.

Carr says members of the bowls club already compete for parking with commuters at the nearby Woburn Railway Station.

“The way car parking is now, we are virtually parked out. Once the dog park people arrive, we will [have to park] further away.”

The proposed park is part of a review of the Hutt City Council’s Dog Control Bylaws which is carried out every 10 years.

Geoff Stuart, Regulatory Services Manager for the Hutt City Council, says the need for a fenced dog park came through a focus group.

He says smaller dogs are often less trainable and need a place where they can exercise off-leash.

However, the park will also be open to larger dogs, and younger dogs which need training.

“It’s just a matter of catering for different parts of the community,” Geoff says.

If the park is green-lit, it will run as a trial for up to a year.

“If it’s not working we’ll re-evaluate in a year and see how it’s going.”

Geoff says the Pohutukawa Reserve was selected by the council for its central location and its non-status as a sports ground.

He says the council does not expect parking to be an issue around the reserve.

“We’re not expecting hundreds and hundreds of people to turn up. Probably 10 or 15 at any time.”

Locals were given an opportunity to make submissions on the proposed park as part of the Dog Control Bylaws review.

Submissions closed on September 7.

Of the 85 submissions which addressed the fenced dog park, 63 agreed with the proposal and 22 were against it.

Submitters will have a chance to voice their opinions to councillors about the bylaws at hearings on October 8 and 22.

Councillors will examine the information presented to them and consider submissions before they make a decision on establishing the trial dog park.

 

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