Petition launched to stop ban of dogs from beaches

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

A PETITION has been launched to stop dogs being banned from Lyme Regis’ main beaches. 

While no decision have been made yet, Lyme Regis Town Council has expressed desire to see dogs 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.

Councillors have now said on more than one occasion that they would like to see dogs completely banned from both the sandy beach and Cobb Gate shingle beach all year round.

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.

A petition has now been launched by local resident and dog owner Debbie Conibere, requesting that the beaches remain accessible to dogs during the off peak seasons in winter and spring (October 1 to April 31).

The petition can be signed online at https://www.change.org/p/lyme-regis-town-council-don-t-ban-dogs-from-lyme-regis-s-beaches or in the Pug & Puffin shop in Broad Street.

Discrimination

Debbie commented: “To ban all dogs, and in consequence their loving dog owners, is discrimination against the majority of loving dog owners who do clean up after their dogs, who keep their dogs regularly treated for worms, fleas and ticks, ensure their dog is fit and healthy and well trained.

“Many of Lyme Regis businesses rely on tourism, and loving dog owners who come to visit the town in the winter and spring months with their dogs due to the current accessibility to the sandy beach and Cobb Gate shingle beach do so because Lyme Regis is so dog friendly, with many shops, cafes, pubs and restaurants allowing well behaved dogs in their establishments.

“Take away the ability for visitors with dogs to use the sandy beach and Cobb Gate shingle beach during the winter and spring seasons and the town risks removing Lyme Regis as one of the top destination for visitors with dogs.

“Many of Lyme Regis’ loving dog owners, residents and visitors, are retired and have limited mobility or are registered disabled which makes access to the further away beaches of Monmouth and Church Beach with their dog either impossible or extremely hard and the risk of tripping or falling on steps or uneven stones is a real hazard.

“Banning of dogs on sandy beach and Cobb Gate shingle beach due to the actions of a minority of dog owners, is discrimination against loving dog owners who do care for the environment and their dogs. An increase in policing and upholding of policies by the dog wardens would benefit the whole community by not allowing a minority of dog owners to break the current regulations and ensure Lyme Regis is free of fouling.”

The current PSPO, now enforced by the new Dorset Council, was 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.

Dorset Council is expected to hold a formal public consultation nearer this time before making a decision on whether to change the current PSPO.

Woodmead Halls

5 Comments

  1. Couldn’t agree more with this petition. Local businesses benefit and those families with children AND dogs. If there were concerns regarding busy periods then a good and sensible compromise would be that dogs would be banned during local Autumn & Spring half term and Easter school holidays.

  2. It would be a great shame if dogs are banned from the beaches during the winter months, especially as most dog owners are very responsible

  3. Who are all these people that signed a petition against allowing dogs on the main beaches? Apparently c4,300 people have signed the “do not ban dogs” petition. At the last census Lyme Regis had a population of 3,671. This is a Lyme Regis matter and I for one vote to ban dogs. There are plenty of other beaches that dogs can use, lets reserve the two main beaches for humans including and their kids

  4. Is this the wishes of all the residents in Lyme Regis and thos who visit?
    Statement from Lyme Regis Town Council
    Lyme Regis Town Council is resolved:
    “ that the town council takes all opportunities available to express its wish to see a dog ban on the Front Beach all-year-round “
    The town council is extremely proud of the front beaches in Lyme Regis, particularly the smaller sandy front beach and believe they should be enjoyed by members of the public without dogs present all year round. Dogs can be walked along the parade on a lead or on other beaches either side of the town where there is no restriction, which are within easy walking distance of the front beaches.
    Events where dogs have attacked children on the beach and defecated/urinated on the beach and belongings have informed the town council’s view.
    The shoulder months of April (Easter Term) and October (half term) need particular consideration when setting any dates. On a sunny day in those months the beaches in Lyme Regis fill up with children building sandcastles which are often then urinated on by dogs.
    As the Pearl of Dorset we want to live up to that title and trust you will take our view into account when formulating the future PSPO to keep our Front beaches clean and safe.

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