RESIDENTS from a small hamlet near Saline fear they'll be driven barking mad from six in the morning to late at night by noise from a dog exercise park.

Laura Inglis, of Blairsgreen Farm, has sought permission from Fife Council for the new venture on 1.2 hectares of agricultural land next to Kinneddar Park.

But there's opposition from locals in the hamlet with one of the residents, Mrs Margaret Young, saying that 12 of the 20 households have already submitted objections due to concerns about noise, road safety, "excessive" opening hours and light pollution.

She described the proposed opening hours – 6am to 9pm, April to October, and 8am to 5pm between November and March – as "outrageous" and said local residents would have to endure the noise of barking dogs "every day and all day".

In a letter of objection Mrs Young said: "Our homes are our refuge where we stay, sometimes 24 hours a day, or return to after work for peace and quiet whether we are inside or out and this planning application is taking this benefit away from each and every one of these residents."

And they've been backed by a response to the application from Don Taylor, from the council's public protection service, who said: "Given the proximity of the houses to the south, the low background noise levels in the area and late finishing times during the lighter evenings, I cannot support this application and would recommend refusal."

As reported by the Press in January, Mrs Inglis has applied to change the use of agricultural land for a dog exercise park.

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

The proposed site is south of Saline and north of Kinneddar Park and Mrs Inglis said the farm diversification project would provide an important additional source of income at a time of "significant economic and environmental" challenge.

The council have sought extra time to consider the application.

One objector from Kinneddar Park said the proposed entrance to the dog exercise park is on a blind summit and it would be "dangerous" for traffic entering or leaving the site.

Another resident said: "The speed of the road has been recorded on the application as a 40 mph but this is only advisory leading up to Kinneddar Park.

"There is a blind summit and the cars tend to come over the road at ridiculous speeds and I have nearly been hit on several occasions coming out of Kinneddar Park."

Mrs Young said there was clearly a demand for dog exercise parks but that the proposed site was the wrong place.

She added: "There is surely a much more suited location within their boundary line that would be more suited for safety and well away from both the road and local housing thereby minimising the impact upon such close neighbours."