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AN idea to transform the site of the former King George V play area into a new ‘off-lead’ area for dogs is being moved forward by the town council.
It is hoped that the new “dog bark” could enhance the facilities on offer in the town’s main park, attracting more visitors to the town centre.
It has also been suggested that dog agility equipment could be installed in the area, which could be purchased via grant funding or local business sponsorship.
“This is a unique idea for Melksham that could help put King George V [playing field] on the map,” said cllr Vanessa Fiorelli at a recent meeting.
The idea has been welcomed by local dog owners, who last year described the park’s current dog run, located next to the skate park, as “too small” and “not fit for purpose”.
One resident said, “As a disabled person using a mobility scooter with two small dogs, I am unable to use the current dog area (if you could really call it a dog play area, it’s so small).
“I could use the old child area as it’s pathed and has seating. I would love to be able to let my dogs run like they should. Please don’t forget dogs are family, please cater for our family as well.”
Another resident added, “Yes! The area is unused and gated off at the moment. Please, Melksham Town Council take away the barriers and let us dog owners enjoy the park with our pets.
“The kids have loads of space and lots of equipment to play on and the skate park, so now let us dog owners have some space for our dogs to run free.”
At the town council’s King George V committee meeting last month, councillors agreed to proceed with the idea, requesting that a feasibility study be carried out before opening up the area for public use.
Council staff will check that rubber matting in the former play area is safe and not toxic to dogs.
Original plans for the site of the former play area were to remove the fencing and transform it into a small “wild” area for plants and wildlife. Councillors agreed that trees should still be planted in the area to help prevent flooding.