An East Lancashire farmer needing to make up for lost EU payments post-Brexit is seeking to diversify his income by starting up a dog exercise business and selling home-made ice-cream to owners.

A planning application to allow the change of use at Manor House Farm in the hamlet of Tottleworth, near Rishton, has been submitted to Hyndburn Council by Mr A Swale.

It proposes to use agricultural land near the Grade II heritage-list farmhouse as dog exercise fields, parking, and provision of an office and reception building with ice cream sales.

A supporting statement submitted with the application says: "The applicant his wife and daughter live at Manor House Farm.

"The farm extends to 47 hectares and accommodates a milking herd of 20 cows and a livery business for 19 horses.

"The applicant works on the farm.

"His wife works full-time on the farm and with the livery.

"Their daughter puts in many unpaid hours to assist in the running of the business. It is not sufficiently profitable to pay their daughter a wage.

"In the past the farm received £11,000 per annum through the basic farm support scheme. This has been phased out since Brexit.

"To replace this lost income the business has been looking at potential farm diversification schemes.

"The area is already popular with dog walkers.

"Two dog exercise fields would provide additional income and can be operated alongside the existing activities.

"The sale of ice cream is a direct method of marketing their own milk made into ice-cream in the existing dairy.

"A secure exercise facility enables owners to let their dogs run around freely.

"It can also be a social activity where owners meet up to let their dogs run around together whilst they have a chat.

"The proposal is for a maximum of four dog owners per session with a total of five dogs using the fields at any one time.

"Users will be encouraged to pre-book time slots using an on-line form.

"The maximum opening hours will be 7am to 9pm daily.

"It is proposed to demolish the existing stables and replace these with a building divided into a reception and office with ice cream sales and a covered canopy area with seating as a meeting up point and shelter for dog owners during inclement weather.

"Ice cream sales will be offered to customers of the dog exercise field and passing members of the public when the field is in use.

"Only ice-cream which is made on Manor House Farm will be sold and no other refreshments.

"The proposed building is a visual improvement on the existing stables.

"The proposal will assist health and well-being through provision of access to outdoor recreation."