Instow Parish Council working group is proposing a summer ban on dogs on the beach for a section of Instow seafront

Last time a ban was feared, dog walkers gathered on Instow Beach in a show of solidarity.Last time a ban was feared, dog walkers gathered on Instow Beach in a show of solidarity.

Proposals are being aired to ban dogs from the main seafront section of Instow beach during the summer.

The Gazette understands a working group of Instow Parish council intends to recommend it excludes dogs from the beach between Lane End Road and the Quay between April 1 and September 30.

There was uproar in 2015 when it appeared a dog ban might be on the cards, with dozens of dog owners and their pets turning out on the beach to protest.

In October 2015 the council said it would leave things as they were, but review the decision again in 18 months.

Minutes of the Beach Management Working Group meeting on April 18 and seen by the Gazette are now suggesting a partial ban.

The minutes say the council has spoken to 'a number of parishioners who are regular beach users' and all felt 'the number of dogs on the beach has increased significantly during the 18 month period'.

The reports cites 'numerous comments about dogs being out of control' during past consultations and goes on to list dog fouling next to picnics, 'running through picnics and knocking children down'.

It concludes: 'The beach is sufficiently large that designating a part of the beach as a dog-free zone would still allow a substantial area to be available for dogs and would achieve the objective of making the beach both child-friendly and dog-friendly'.

To achieve the ban, it is suggested the council asks North Devon Council to create a 'public spaces protection order'.

The group also heard how DEFRA is considering removing Instow from the list of designated bathing water beaches as it had been classified as poor in 21 out of the last 22 years.

The working group has recommended the council approve the proposal.

The Gazette asked Instow Parish Council if it wished to comment and has been told 'the council agreed to discuss the requirements of a PSPO with NDC officers to ascertain if was possible for such an order to be imposed on Instow beach and in parallel also consult with the (Christies) estate.'

It said the outcome would be be reported back to a future parish council meeting.

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