A raft of measures to deal with irresponsible dog owners in North Devon are set to be put to the public.
North Devon Council (NDC) is carrying out a public consultation on plans to introduce a new district-wide Public Space Protection Order which could see £100 penalties issued to anyone breaching restrictions.
The measures will restrict the presence of dogs on Saunton, Woolacombe, Putsborough, Instow, Croyde and Combe Martin beaches during the summer, as well as public places such as cemeteries, enclosed play areas and sports pitches.
Other proposals would see dogs required to be on a lead on the Tarka Trail, Braunton Burrows and Taw Estuary high tide roosting sites.
The council said it was keen to ensure the measures adopted would be the ‘least restrictive available’, and said it had taken guidance from The Kennel Club.
It said the PSPO would introduce controls to help address antisocial behaviour associated with dog waste and uncontrolled dogs, whilst providing dog owners with open spaces where they can freely exercise their dogs.
The council’s strategy and resources committee voted to carry out the public consultation at a meeting on Monday (June 1).
The nine-week consultation will start on Monday, June 8, and ends on August 9.
NDC’s lead member for environment, Netti Pearson, says: “While the majority of dog owners are responsible, there is unfortunately an irresponsible minority who do not pick up after their dog or allow their dogs to run out of control.
“This kind of behaviour interferes with the enjoyment of our beaches and open spaces by other users and we want to do something about it.
“This consultation is not about vilifying dog owners; there are significant and positive public health, social and economic benefits of dog ownership.
“The proposed PSPO simply aims to address the antisocial behaviour associated with dog fouling and control that is unfortunately an ongoing problem amongst a small minority in our district.
“We want to hear as many views from as many of our residents and visitors as possible in this consultation.
“It may be that some people have some ideas for dealing with these issues that we haven’t thought of and we want to hear them. Please take the time to share your thoughts on how we can deal with this ongoing problem.”
To take part in the consultation, which starts on June 8, visit northdevon.gov.uk/consultations