Councillors have deferred a decision on whether to consult on controversial new dog control measures until next month.

North Devon Council’s Strategy and Resources Committee agreed more work was needed on the consultation document before presenting the proposals to the public and to businesses.

The council is proposing a district-wide Public Spaces Protection Order (PSPO) which could see penalties of £100 issued to anyone breaching restrictions.

The measures will restrict the presence of dogs on Saunton Sands, Woolacombe, Putsborough, Instow, Croyde and Combe Martin beaches during the summer, as well as public places such as sports pitches, the Tarka Trail, Braunton Burrows and Taw Estuary high tide roosting sites.

No decision on the PSPO’s implementation was due to be made at Monday’s virtual meeting, with the committee purely deciding whether to consult the public on the measures

But Cllr Worden called for the decision to be deferred for a month. He said: “My problem is the way it is written in that it seems the council has a position before consultation, when I would like it to be written in a more neutral way.

“It reads as saying needs to be something as we have a problem, rather than we are consulting the public to find out if we have a problem, as the current regulations may be sufficient.”

Cllr Pat Barker supported the call. She said: “It is reasonable to defer for a month. There are enough of us worried about the wording which is not good and it makes us look dictatorial. We need to make sure it is all done in the right way and another month will not hurt.”

Ken Miles, the council’s chief executive, said that if the decision was deferred for a month there would still be the time to consult and introduce the new order in time. But he added: “I guarantee that when we go out to consultation, we will get the most responses for this. We will get strong views in favour of and against the controls. Our role will be to work through it and yours to then make the decision.

“This decision is not to introduce any but merely to go out to consultation on the proposals. We need to have sufficient time to work through the substantial number of responses.”

Following any consultation, a final decision on whether to adopt all, or any, of the proposals, would come back to the committee.

The proposals are:

Dog Fouling

– Issue Fixed Penalty Notices (FPNs) of £100 to people who do not pick up their dog waste in all public areas and on the beaches of Saunton Sands Woolacombe Sands, Putsborough Sands, Instow, Croyde Bay and Combe Martin.

Dog Control

– Issue FPNs of £100 to people who walk or exercise their dogs ‘off lead’ in enclosed children’s play areas.

– Issue FPNs of £100 to people who walk or exercise their dogs ‘off lead’ in public cemeteries.

– Prohibit the presence of dogs on the beaches identified above between Easter Day and September 30, except in designated ‘dog friendly’ areas.

–Issue FPNs of £100 to people who allow their dogs to be present on those beaches – other than being in or travelling to dog friendly areas.

– Require a person to place their dogs on a lead of two metres or less.

– Issue FPNs of £100 to people who do not place their dog on a lead of two metres or less.

Sports Pitches

– Issue FPNs of £100 to people who do not pick up their dog waste from all publicly owned formal sports pitches, or privately owned sports pitches where the owner has requested such controls.

– Prohibit the presence of dogs on all publicly owned formal sports pitches, or privately owned where requested by the owner.

– To issue FPNs of £100 to people who allow their dogs to be present on sports pitches.

Tarka Trail

– Prohibit presence of dogs ‘off lead’ on the Tarka Trail.

– Issue FPNs of £100 to people who walk or exercise their dogs ‘off lead’ on the Tarka Trail.

– Require a person to place their dog(s) on a lead of two metres in length or less.

– Issue FPNs of £100 to people who do not place their dog on lead outlined above.

Braunton Burrows

– Prohibit presence of dogs ‘off lead’ in specific locations in Braunton Burrows at appropriate times of the year.

– Issue FPNs of £100 to people who walk or exercise their dogs ‘off lead’ in these areas at these times.

– Require a person to place their dog(s) on a lead of two metres or less in length.

– Issue FPNs of £100 to people who do not place their dog on lead outlined above.

High Tide Roosting Sites

– Prohibit the presence of dogs in locations identified at appropriate times of the year.

– Issue FPNs of £100 to people who walk or exercise their dogs ‘off lead’ in these areas during these times.

– Require a person to place their dog on a lead of two metres or less in length.

– Issue FPNs of £100 to people who do not place their dog on lead outlined above.