Dorset Council to start discussion on dog restrictions consultation

dog friendly beach
This photo is for illustrative purposes only and is not necessarily representative of

DORSET councillors will tomorrow (Thursday) consider their plans to consult the public on dog restrictions on beaches. 

The new unitary authority is planning to hold a public consultation to gather residents’ views on dogs in public places, including beaches, before deciding whether to make changes to the existing Public Space Protection Orders (PSPOs), which were established by the former district and borough councils across the county.

The Place Scrutiny Committee will tomorrow examine the plans for how the public consultation will work, and consider recommending them to Dorset Council’s Cabinet.

The committee will also consider whether to recommend that the dog-related Public Spaces Protection Orders are temporarily extended so the new consultation can be prepared. It is anticipated that the new consultation, which will be widely publicised, will take place in January 2020.

The subject of dogs on beaches is a hot topic in Lyme Regis, with town councillors keen to see the animals banned from the main sandy beach and Cobb Gate shingle beach all year round.

Under the current PSPO, introduced 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, but town councillors have said they do not feel this is appropriate.

Following their comments, a petition was launched to stop dogs being banned all year round, which claimed that doing so would discriminate against responsible dog owners and would negatively affect tourism.

The subject has caused several heated debates on local social media pages.

Reports for tomorrow’s Place Scrutiny Committee meeting are available here.

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