Restrictions on when dogs are allowed on beaches in Cornwall could be relaxed under new proposals.
Cornwall Council currently has 48 Public Space Protection Orders (PSPOs) in place which limit when dogs can be exercised on beaches. With the orders differing from beach to beach, the council has said it now wants to harmonise these and make it easier for residents and visitors alike.
With the current PSPOs set to expire this year, the council launched a public consultation last summer to find out what people would like to see happen to the restrictions. It resulted in the largest ever response to any council-led consultation, with more than 13,000 people completing the survey.
With the public in huge favour to relax the current restrictions, the council has announced its preferred option which will go before councillors next week. Under the proposals all beaches, except those with Blue Flag status, would have a restriction for dogs from 10am to 5pm from July 1 to August 31. Some of the current restrictions run from Easter to September.
Blue Flag beaches have to have different restrictions to fit in with the requirements of the scheme, so on those beaches the ban will be from 10am to 5pm from May 15 to September 30.
Rob Nolan, Cornwall Council Cabinet member for environment, said:
“We have had a big consultation and received 13,128 responses, the biggest response ever – 78% were from residents and 19% were from visitors.
What people wanted, by and large, was for it to be switched to July and August.
There are three options going the scrutiny committee next week – the first is to scrap the restrictions entirely and the second is to leave them as they are.
The third option, which has been recommended, is to harmonise the times to 10am to 5pm where bans are in place.
At present they are different all over the place, some are 24 hours, some start at 7am – people don’t know what the rules are so by harmonising them it will make it easier.
Under these plans people will be able to go down for a walk in the morning on the beach with their dogs and also in the evening.
I do still have some concerns and we will be trusting dog owners to clean up after their pets, especially as 10am is quite late in the day. If they don’t then we will review it again in the winter”.
The proposals are set to go before the council’s neighbourhoods overview and scrutiny committee when it meets next Thursday (Jan 16th).
If agreed then they will return to the Cabinet for approval and could be in place for this summer.
Cllr Nolan added: “These new rules will make it much easier for residents and visitors – we will be able to send out the restrictions to B&Bs and they can let their guests know more easily when and where the restrictions are in place.
“We can’t have dogs on beaches all the time – it is not appropriate for beach users or the dogs.
“But this will be good for the economy and good for residents”.