RESIDENTS and businesses are being consulted on a new dog-related public spaces protection order (PSPO).

There are currently five separate PSPOs, including one in East Dorset and one in Purbeck, which were created by the former district and borough councils.

Now Dorset Council wants to create one order, which will “help ensure consistency, fairness and clarity for residents.”

The content of a consultation form was discussed and outlined at a cabinet meeting in December, and the form was sent out to residents, visitors and businesses.

The consultation started on January 24 and will run for 12 weeks, ending at midnight on April 19.

Cllr. Tony Alford, Dorset Council portfolio holder for customer, community and regulatory services, said: “These orders are to make sure that everyone – with or without dogs – can safely enjoy public spaces.

“We want to hear a wide range of views from as many people as possible.

“We know that people hold very strong views on the topic, and we aim to reflect a balanced and fair perspective within the new order.”

Residents have been asked whether they believe dog owners should continue to clear and appropriately dispose of dog fouling, as per all five current orders.

They have also been asked if the maximum lead length should be restricted to two metres and if dog owners must put their pet on a lead if asked to do so by an authorised officer.

Dogs may be required to be on a lead on all roads with a 30 miles per hour limit, cemeteries, public or formal gardens and within five metres of marked sport pitches depending on the results of the consultation.

There is potential for dogs to be excluded from beaches such as Central Beach in Swanage and Studland Beach

Consultees have been asked whether exclusions should apply on these beaches all year, from Good Friday to October 31, from Good Friday to September 30, from April 1 to October 31, from May 1 to September 30 or if they should be unrestricted.

Residents can also say if they believe dogs should be excluded from children’s play parks or sporting areas.

The five current orders have been granted an extension until December 31, 2020 while the new order is discussed and planned.