Thanet council plans for on the spot fines in new dog ban or on-the-lead ‘PSPO’ areas

Dog restrictions on the beaches

Thanet council is consulting on plans to create a new Public Space Protection Orders (PSPO) at sites across the isle that will either ban dogs completely or bring in strict on-lead rules from this October.

The PSPO areas will be enforced with on the spot £80 fines for anyone:

  • Permitting a dog to enter land from which dogs are excluded. These exclusion areas include fenced children’s play areas, cemeteries, ball courts and tennis courts.
  • Not having a dog on a lead between the hours of 10am – 6pm from 1st May – 30th September in the following locations: West Bay, St Mildred’s Bay, Westbrook Bay, Stone Bay, Botany Bay, Joss Bay. Louisa Bay, Minnis Bay (part), Walpole Bay, Viking Bay.
  • Not keeping a dog on a lead 24 hours a day in the following locations: Pegwell Bay (designated nature reserve), Margate Main Sands, Ramsgate Main Sands.
  • Failing to remove faeces
  • Not having a suitable item to pick up dog faeces with
  • Not putting and keeping a dog on a lead when directed to do so by an authorised officer

Any enforcement officer can issue the PSPO on-the-spot fine/fixed penalty notice of £80 to anyone found not to be following the new rules. If unpaid, a convicted offender could be fined up to £1,000.

PSPOs may be enforced by police officers, police community safety officers and any officers designated by Thanet District Council.

PSPOs, came into force last year under the Anti-social Behaviour, Crime and Policing Act 2014. Similar to anti-social behaviour orders (asbos), PSPOs allow for broad powers to criminalise behaviour that is not normally criminal. They last for three years but can be renewed.

Neighbouring Dover District Council brought in PSPOs in 2015.

The Thanet initiative follows the introduction of a dog dna scheme in July and 30 new Tikspac stations providing free dog waste bags across the district.


A 28 day period for comment started on Thursday (August 10).

Thanet council says the PSPO will help it simplify existing rules, replace old legislation – which expires later this year- and control irresponsible dog owners who don’t pick up dog faeces or control their dogs.

A spokesman said: “This zero tolerance approach and enable us to take action and fine the minority of people who blight our wonderful beaches and open spaces.”

Maps of the locations showing dog ban and on-lead areas here.

Views can be submitted via before 7 September 2017. A decision on implementing a Public Space Protection Order will be taken by Cabinet on 19 September. If approved, the PSPO would come into effect on 16 October.

What is a PSPO?

Public Spaces Protection Orders (PSPO ) propose to deal with a particular nuisance in a particular area that is having a detrimental effect on the quality of life for those in the local community. It can prohibit certain things or require specific things to be done.

An example of when a PSPO may be issued could be to help keep dogs under control within a public place such as a park. It may require that the dog is kept on a lead at all times and/or the dog is only allowed in certain areas. Alternatively, it may prohibit the consumption of alcohol in a specific place.

When deciding whether an order should be issued, the local authority must consider two things:

Firstly whether the behaviour is having a detrimental effect, or is likely to have this effect. Secondly, whether the effect/likely effect of the activities is of a persistent nature making the behaviour unreasonable and rendering the notice justified.

It can be made to apply to all people, or limited only to certain people and can be restricted to specific times. A PSPO can last no longer than 3 years but can be renewed if necessary. Failure to comply with the order can result in a fine or a fixed penalty notice.

If the council plans to put a new PSPO in place, it must put up a notice and publish it in a local newspaper and on its website.

The notice must tell you where the new PSPO will apply and if there’s a map and where you can see it.  If dogs aren’t allowed in a park or any other area, there must be signs saying so.

Dogs on the beach

Photo Mel Chennell

In case you were wondering what beaches your dog can go on and when, here’s the full list:

From 1 May to 30 September, dogs are not allowed at any time, during any part of the day or evening, on the following beaches:


  • Minnis Bay (Main Area)


  • Viking Bay


  • Walpole Bay


  • Main Sands


  • Main Sands (Harbour end)

From 1 May to 30 September, dogs are not allowed during the hours of 10am to 6pm on the following beaches:


  • Botany Bay
  • Joss Bay
  • Lousia Bay
  • Stone Bay


  • Westbrook Bay


  • West Bay
  • St Mildred’s Bay

Dogs are allowed on the following beaches at any time, all year round.


  • Grenham Bay
  • Epple Bay


  • Dumpton Gap
  • Kingsgate Bay


  • Foreness Point
  • Sacketts Gap
  • Palm Bay


  • Fulsom Rock


  • Eastcliff
  • Western Undercliff

All dogs on promenades adjacent to these beaches should be kept on a lead.




  1. It might be difficult to know exactly where one area starts and finishes and be walking your dog in a prohibited area by mistake. What will the signing be like?

  2. I agree with the ban on the beaches where children play & use during the summer period but not Pegwell Bay Nature Reserve as its one of the places you can let your dogs have a run & for us to walk around at the same time ,We walk there all year with others dog owners for which we we pay for the year car park for the privilege at a cost of £45 per year.

  3. Its just another money spinner for councils to fleece the public again .. if it isnt car park fees etc now dog walking … wot next ??? So where
    Are we going tolet dogs have a run .. ?? Sounds like winter or late nights .

  4. I agree with the other comments, we responsible dog owners have no where we can let our playful and safe dogs run! How about dog parks? I thought we are meant to be a nation of dog lovers yet TDC are making it very difficult!

  5. We are supposed to be a nation of dog lovers. This seems to me that we are not. If people keep their dogs under control and clear up after them, what is the problem?? Seems now, if you own and love your dog/s,you are being treated as a 3Rd class citizen as in “you can’t go here/there”.

  6. These new measures seem somewhat draconian and severe, the final straw is the Pegwell Bay Nature Reserve. I can’t understand why diogs should have to be kept on a lead in this place, why? I understand if dogs are not allowed to roam free on crowded beaches with children about but in a place where people go to walk dogs is beyond me.

  7. These rules are completely unreasonable, especially at Pegwell Bay. If you insist on this draconian rule, why not allow off leash in some of the fields within Pegwell Bay, or a period of the day each day which is for dogwalkers only? if these plans go ahead in their current form, there is no point paying the annual season ticket for the use of Kent parks, and I don’t think Thanet will be keen in the downturn in revenue. In addition, perhaps it’s time to have some firmer rules on anti-social human behaviour? I could name quite a few cases particularly in Pegwell Bay, and all very close to the children’s playground…

  8. Is the Council going to provide specific areas where dogs can be exercised then. Pegwell Bay is one of the few places where dog walkers can let their dogs have a good run. It’s another way for the Council to make money. Ridiculous!!

  9. Try not to jump to conclusions, the text is not as clear as it should be.
    The PSPO is in relation to the mud flats between the Country Park and the sea, this order is part of the All England Coast path designation to try and reduce disturbance to wading birds on the flats. Dogs are still welcome in the country park under close control.

  10. I go to Pegwell Bay twice a day all the year round. I meet many dogs and owners. I have yet to come across unacceptable behaviour. I’ve never seen dogs on the marsh. It could easily be fenced off quite cheaply. Cheaper than having all these checks and balances, and fine threats. The rest of the reserve (ex rubbish dump) is not in need of protection. It’s just ordinary paths through/around scruffy fields. And, there is unacceptable human bahaviour goes on in the park, as is well known. Perhaps a few fines might be imposed in that direction, rather than leadless dogs.

  11. I totally agree with all comments. The majority of dog owners are very responsible but there are some who are not and these usually have a particular type of breed. We have been walking our collie at Pegwell for years and I personally have only met responsible dog owners there. However, in other areas it has not always been the case. My real issue are those who don’t clean up after their dogs. There is no need for it especially as there is usually a supply of bins in the areas and then what annoys me is that they have not been emptied by the council. Thinking outside the box and looking around Thanet generally, the council would be better employed in fighting the appalling litter problem we have such as plastic bottles, beer cans and energy drinks cans dumped everywhere not to mention fast food and supermarket detritus!. They would make more revenue out of fining these people than penalising responsible dog owners!!

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