CHARITY Dogs Trust has agreed to purchase a 36-acre parcel of agricultural land in Shoreham.
The grassland, east of New Salts Farm Road, was one of two lots being marketed by Batcheller Monkhouse.
It is immediately adjacent to the Shoreham rehoming centre and Dogs Trust has already been granted planning permission to use the site as an exercise field for the dogs.
Jack Johnson, from Dogs Trust, told Adur District Council’s licensing commitee last Wednesday the charity had recently acquired the additional land, leading up to the railway line.
He was speaking to oppose the licence application for a music festival at Shoreham Airport (turn to page 12 for full details).
After the meeting, the charity confirmed it had agreed to purchase 36 acres of agricultural land, much of which has been used for livestock grazing in recent years.
A spokesman said: “As the land is on a flood plain, it is not suitable for any form of development. Dogs Trust expects that the purchase will complete some time in February.
“The land will simply be used for dog-walking and will allow staff and volunteers to exercise dogs along a series of simple grass pathways that will meander through the land.
“Some of our other rehoming centres around the country already have the benefit of this kind of exercise/walking space, which is a great asset for those centres and the dogs.
“This was an opportunity for us to provide a similar welfare benefit for Dogs Trust Shoreham.”
Mr Johnson said the Shoreham centre had taken in 70 dogs from the local area in the last year.
He said there were routinely 65 dogs in the kennels at any one time and a dedicated team of volunteers who cared for them.
At the moment, the centre has a three-acre paddock in which the dogs can exercise.
When the application to change the use of the agricultural land came before the planning committee at the end of September, councillors welcomed the move and said it would protect the site from potential developers.
Brian Coomber said at the time: “To keep this open is very good PR as far as the council is concerned but also helps the people who live in the area and walk along the river. They are still seeing an open field and the Downs and not something that’s a concrete block.”