Changes, including banning dogs from Westbrook Bay in the Summer months, are proposed to a Public Space Protection Order (PSPO) which outlines areas where dogs can and cannot be walked.
In October 2017 a PSPO was put in place to enforce restrictions on some Thanet beaches and to ban dogs from children’s play areas and introduce a strict on-lead policy for pets being walked in cemeteries.
In October this year, Thanet District Council took the decision to extend the PSPO for dog fouling, exclusion and dog control until 2023.
The council says the original order has had a positive impact and helped prevent detrimental effects on the quality of the isle’s water, the cleanliness of blue flag beaches and helped to protect the coastline, cemeteries and playgrounds.
TDC says the order has also helped protect the diversity of bird populations and wildlife at Pegwell Bay upper chalk shore, mudflats and saltmarsh.
The authority is now consulting the public on three changes:
Westbrook Bay – Currently dogs must be kept on a lead. The amendment would be to not allow dogs on the beach between 10am and 6pm 1 May to 30 September, to help maintain the Blue Flag Award status.
Pegwell Bay – TDC is suggesting amending the PSPO to extend the exclusion to cover the upper chalk shore to protect people’s enjoyment of the internationally important nature reserve.
TDC is also suggesting humans and dogs will be banned from interfering with, trapping or attempting to trap, snare or disturb any wildlife on council owned land.
Cllr Steve Albon, Cabinet Member for Operational Services at Thanet District Council said: “The use of PSPOs throughout the district enables us to protect our coastline and wildlife whilst ensuring that it can still be enjoyed by residents and visitors. It’s about creating a balance between dog owners and those who don’t have a dog to ensure that everyone can enjoy our public spaces.
“Our aim is to prevent the small number of irresponsible dog owners from allowing their pets to foul, stray and be out of control – thereby keeping everyone safe.
“I hope that people will take the time to provide comments on these proposed changes, which include adding some seasonal dog exclusion areas, as we look to address specific issues highlighted through our ongoing work with partners.”
The consultation runs from today ( November 23) to Tuesday, December 22. The results of the consultation will be presented to Cabinet for a final decision to be made in January 2021.
More information on the PSPO can be found at thanet.gov.uk/dog-public-space-protection-order-pspo
For a hard copy version, call 01843 577000 or email Streetscene.Enforcement@thanet.gov.uk