Anger at dog ban on beach

DOG owners are furious their pets are to be banned from an award-winning beach where they will face a fine of £500 if they break new bylaws.Suffolk Coastal District Council has formally approved bylaws to ban dogs from the beach between Brackenbury, The Dip and Clifflands in Old Felixstowe from May to September.

By Richard Smith

DOG owners are furious their pets are to be banned from an award-winning beach where they will face a fine of £500 if they break new bylaws.

Suffolk Coastal District Council has formally approved bylaws to ban dogs from the beach between Brackenbury, The Dip and Clifflands in Old Felixstowe from May to September.

Dog owners are also prevented from taking their animals off the lead on the promenade. The bylaws will be submitted to the Department of the Environment, Food and Rural Affairs for final approval.


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The decision will have to be advertised to establish if they are any objections and dog owners are already preparing to mount a challenge.

Fred Simpson, treasurer of Felixstowe Dog Training Club, said: ''We will fight it with the Government until we get a public inquiry and will organise a public rally if we don't. It is pointless to ban the dogs from an area which no-one else uses.''

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Adrian Farthing, of Princes Road, Felixstowe, walks his dog daily there and he said there were worse polluters spoiling the beach than dogs.

''The council already have the ability to fine up to £1,000, I believe, for a dog clean area but if they cannot enforce what they have already got why are they doing this? I have not seen anything to justify the need for a bylaw,'' said Mr Farthing.

Chris Slemmings, the council's cabinet spokesman for the environment, said: ''I think we have reached a fair compromise with the dog owners. The area the ban will cover has been reduced and will not stretch along the whole of the award-winning beach.''

The council has had a Yellow Flag status for the beach for three years without having a dog ban. Tom Griffin, chief executive, told the council: ''The Yellow Flag award-winning beach has become extremely popular with visitors, particularly those with young children, as an area which offers a clean and safe environment.

''Unfortunately, however, there have been complaints about dog waste on the beach and the proposed control measures should help to reduce such incidents.''

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