Council defends dog ban plan
By Richard SmithA CONTROVERSIAL plan to ban dogs from a beach has been defended by council officers.Dog walkers in Felixstowe are angry Suffolk Coastal District Council was applying for a new byelaw to ban their animals for five months from a section of beach that has won the Seaside Award for four consecutive years.
By Richard Smith
A CONTROVERSIAL plan to ban dogs from a beach has been defended by council officers.
Dog walkers in Felixstowe are angry Suffolk Coastal District Council was applying for a new byelaw to ban their animals for five months from a section of beach that has won the Seaside Award for four consecutive years.
The byelaw, if approved by the Department of the Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, would make it an offence for anyone other than a registered blind person to allow their dog to go onto the beach between Brackenbury, The Dip and Clifflands in Old Felixstowe from May to September.
Dog owners would also have to keep their pets on a lead on the adjacent promenade. But they protested it was only dog owners who used that beach and they should be allowed to continue to walk their animals.
But Deborah Robinson, the council's director of environmental services, said: “Most dog owners are responsible, but a few are making our popular beaches unpleasant for others, especially those with small children.
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“We want to achieve a balance between beach users and dog owners and there are still areas where a dog can stroll by the sea without any restriction.
“We received a number of complaints about dog fouling on the beach and also along the promenade and the proposed restriction during the summer months gives families the option of visiting a dog-free area.
“This should help us keep The Dip attractive to visitors and the Seaside Award's Yellow Flag.”
The council has had a byelaw since 1989 to ban dogs between May 1 and September 30 from the beach between the pier and the Spa Pavilion.
An advert will soon appear in newspapers advising people of the proposal to introduce a new byelaw and they will have 28 days to give their opinions. It is possible a public inquiry could be called to review both sides of the debate.