A FARMER wants to turn an underused field near Saline into a dog exercise park for the community.

Laura Inglis, of Blairsgreen Farm, has applied to Fife Council to change the use of around 1.2 hectares of agricultural land.

Owners would be able to book one-hour slots for their dog and the plans include the erection of a shelter, gate and boundary fence, floodlighting and the formation of a parking area.

A planning statement on her behalf said: "The application also serves to increase the economic viability of the existing rural enterprise operations on a working farm and in turn to help the site owner future-proof farm operations through this diversification."

The site, around 1.2 hectares in size, is south of the village and to the north of the development at Kinneddar Park.

If approved, the exercise park would be open from 6am to 9pm, April to October, and 8am to 5pm between November and March.

Mrs Inglis believes the new venture would provide an important additional source of income for the farm at a time of "significant economic and environmental" challenge.

It would also relieve pressure on "existing areas of high footfall" for dog exercise, such as Devilla Forest.

The statement added: "When taken together, it is considered that the tripartite challenges of ensuring public health, managing environmental impacts and mitigating business cost increases all signpost the importance of the effective use of rural land or property.

"This includes maximising the role of public and private ‘place-led investment’ respectively but also lends weight to the need that is now evident for the Scottish planning system to provide continued recognition to the need for business diversification measures."