Dogs finally get a park to caper

EMMA BAILEY
Last updated 05:00 30/07/2014

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South Canterbury dogs will soon be able to run free at a park in Redruth.

Yesterday the Timaru District Council approved the development of a dog park in Leckie St, on 3 hectares of unused space, with space for parking and a ditch so water could run through the park.

This was also the preferred site of the Timaru Dog Park Trust, with representative Richard Brown endorsing it in a letter to the council.

Cr Dave Jack asked if there was water at the site as, "I know my dog likes a drink," to which Cr Peter Burt retorted, "just like its owner".

Council group manager of regulatory services Chris English said the only concerns Leckie St residents had was that they did not lose vehicle access to the properties through the reserve proposed for the dog park.

One person had asked if the park could be separated into a small dog area and a large dog park.

English said most dog parks did not have separate areas.

Last year a small working group, including English, dog owner Peg McKenzie, former councillor Jo Taylor and dog advocate Carol Keelty was established. The group visited dog parks at Rolleston and the Groynes in Christchurch.

English said the Leckie St site was underused.

"No-one was at the park on each of our visits or subsequent visits to liaise with residents. As it is a closed landfill it is unsuitable for sportsfields."

The small number of direct residents near the proposed dog park, with only 15 houses that would see the park or its boundary, also made it a desirable location.

In the 2014/2015 annual plan, $50,000 was budgeted to establish a dog park in Timaru.

"Preliminary costings indicate this should be sufficient for the fencing, a double gate entrance and exit system and the carpark development," English said.

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- The Timaru Herald

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