The Instow dog saga shows no sign of rolling over after signs put up advising people of restrictions were torn down again within days.
Instow Parish Council put up its code of conduct signs at beach entrances advising visitors of restrictions on walking dogs on the stretch of beach between Lane End and the Quay from May to September.
Part of the sign at Lane End was cut off shortly after it was put up, then replaced at the weekend, during which there was an altercation between the sign erectors and dog walkers.
On Monday morning the sign at the slipway was stolen and the police have been informed.
Parish council chairman Brian Moores said people could not simply go around ripping down signs because they disagreed with them.
He said: “It is getting completely out of hand, it’s absolutely ridiculous – if we can’t share amenities between all users them it’s a sad day.
“Everything was done in a proper managed process, all above board and democratic and done by the council looking at ways it could improve an amenity.”
There had been claims that restricting dogs on the beach could lead to a loss of trade for Instow, so the Gazette spoke to some local business owners to get their opinion.
Steve Dymond at The Quay Inn said he had seen a noticeable change and the absence of some regulars since the rumours of a ban started.
He said: “I don’t agree with it. It’s bad for business in the area. A lot of people come to Instow because it’s dog friendly.
“It’s a bit short sighted. It brings a much needed boost in revenue.”
Terry Loates at The Wayfarer Inn said he believed it was the other way around and the opposite end of the beach with its dunes and fresh water would be better for families.
But Mr Moores said he would question whether there had been any ‘knock-on effect’. He added: “The restrictions don’t affect people or dog walkers coming down, the only effect is they have to walk a bit further.
“I can’t see any way this will affect businesses – if they are come down they are still going to walk the dog, whether they park at the top end or the bottom end.”
The saga has growled on for several years, with dog owners holding mass protests on the beach against any ‘ban’.