Council repeats call for all-year-round ban of dogs from main beach

This photo is for illustrative purposes only and does not represent dogs involved in specific incidents in Lyme Regis

LYME Regis councillors have reiterated their desire for dogs to be banned from the town’s sandy beach and Cobb Gate shingle beach all year round.

Following the introduction of a Public Space Protection Order (PSPO) by the now defunct West Dorset District Council in October 2017, dogs are currently allowed on Lyme’s main sandy beach without a lead between October 1 and May 1.

Lyme Regis Town Council objected to the PSPO when it was first introduced, with members arguing that dogs should be kept on leads, and a number of complaints from the public about dogs defecating, urinating and being out of control on the sandy beach have also been received.

Following an incident in which a 12-year-old boy was bitten by a dog on the beach in December 2018, further calls for reconsideration of the policy were made, as well as suggestions of a complete ban of dogs from the sandy beach.

However, the suggestion of a complete ban has proved controversial with some dog owners, who have said it is unfair to penalise well-behaved dogs and owners who clean up after their pets.

The PSPO, now enforced by the new Dorset Council, is due to expire and be reconsidered in October 2020, but Dorset Council has now said it plans to extend it for an additional six weeks until December 31 2020 for internal logistical reasons.

This announcement sparked another debate on dogs in the Lyme Regis Town Council chamber, where members reiterated their call for an all-year-round ban on both the sandy beach and Cobb Gate shingle beach.

Councillor Michaela Ellis said: “I think we need to go back to Dorset Council and say we want a policy that is suitable for us as a seaside town.

“We had to go along with a policy last time when it was West Dorset District Council, there was no consultation and it does not suit what we need here in this town.”

The Mayor of Lyme Regis, Councillor Brian Larcombe MBE, said: “I would like to see the extension of the dog ban to all year round on the sandy beach and the front shingle beach.”

Councillor Larcombe also asked if they could explore banning dogs from the cemetery, but was told they could not as this was a public footpath.

He then requested that low height fencing be installed either side of the cemetery footpath leading up to Henry’s Way, as he said this was where the main problem with dog’s mess was, and this will now be considered at a future meeting.

Referring to dogs on the beach, Councillor Ellis continued: “It just causes problems with children, it’s the conflict of it. The pebble beach does not get washed and I dread to think what people could pick up from there.

“There are beaches either side that people can use to take their dogs and many other places in the town.”

Deputy town clerk Mark Green said he would relay members’ comments to Dorset Council, and they would likely receive a formal consultation on the policy next year before it expires.

Woodmead Halls
About Francesca Evans 1755 Articles
Francesca grew up in Lyme Regis and has worked in community journalism in the area since 2011, having gained a First Class Honours degree in journalism and her NCTJ qualifications at Southampton Solent University.

3 Comments

  1. Does seem odd that councillors are more concerned about dogs on the beach than seagulls scaring away holidaymakers. I have lived in Lyme for 19 years and have never been bitten by a dog. In fact no one in my family has been bitten by a dog. My entire family have, however, been attacked by seagulls myriad times, on the odd occasion drawing blood. Last time we bought food from Herbies I was attacked twice whilst walking back to our beach hut. The fish and chips were in a close cardboard box. Deciding to discuss the seagull issue again at some future meeting simply not good enough.

  2. As a resident of West Bay I wish that an all year ban on dogs could be extended to the beaches here. Although seagulls are a nuisance they cause far fewer problems than the vast increase in dogs, or to be more accurate the inability or unwillingness of dog owners to control their pets.

  3. So very much easier to issue a dog ban (& upset both dog-loving residents and visitors who come to Lyme to enjoy holidays with their dogs) than to sort out the seagull problem – or that of the massive amount of rubbish reguñarly left all over the seafront and gardens. It is only a few dog-owners who behave unsociably – the majority behave perfectly well and bring pleasure and financial gain to the town, One of the reasons I chose to move here is the enjoyment of dog-walking on the beach & seeing others enjoy it, too – together with the warm and welcome attitude of bars & restaurateurs. Council members, don’t spoil it!

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