Plans to open a therapy centre for vulnerable people have been submitted to Test Valley Borough Council (TVBC).

Gail Foster has submitted proposals for the business on land near Nether Wallop. The business will be a care farm, where farming practices are used to provide therapy to those who need it.

In Nether Wallop, proposed activities for clients include keeping animals for grazing and wool production, with the wool being used for crafts. Physical exercise and mindfulness sessions are also planned.

In her application, Gail said: “The current land is unused and has been so for more than 20 years.

“The objective of the business is to help with mental health and behaviour issues suffered by adults and children, but not at the expense of any negative impact, or impacts, to working animals, wildlife or flora and fauna.”

Gail established The Healing Herd Limited on August 7, 2020. She hopes to offer a range of therapy services for her clients, including “using animals in activities with clients to benefit the client’s mental health and to perform exercises and routines to help with behavioural issues in young people.”

She hopes to host sessions on a disused paddock off of Trout Lane. As part of the application, 1.8m high fences are proposed for the land, both to keep the “valuable” therapy animals in and to keep dogs and potential thieves out. Trees around the border will have ivy removed.

A mobile field shelter will also be put on the land in which there will be a tack room for the animals and a separating toilet for staff, volunteers and clients to use. A small soakaway, and composting site, will be created for the waste.

One neighbour is so far in support of the plans, which are being considered by TVBC. A decision will be made on the plans in due course.

If you want to look at the proposals for yourself, or make a comment, you should visit TVBC’s planning site and search with the reference number 21/00891/FULLN.