DORSET 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 the Dorset Council want 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.

What will you be asked?

Consultees will be asked their opinions on maximum lead lengths for dogs and where dogs should be excluded from.

People can also give their opinion on how dogs can use Swanage beach, Studland and West Bay beach.

Dogs on leads

In a number of the current orders, there are some occasions when dogs have to be kept on a lead.

This could be by direction, by a dog warden, or in a specific area where dogs must be kept on a lead.

A maximum lead length has been suggested, and supported by the Kennel Club, of two metres, and consultees can say whether they agree, disagree or don’t know.

Opinions are also asked on whether dogs must be put on a lead if asked to do so by authorised officers, like dog wardens, or not.

Areas where dogs must be on leads

People answering the consultation can have their say on whether dogs must be on a lead in specific locations.

These locations are; all roads and pavements with a 30mph limit, cemeteries and graveyards, public or formal gardens, council owned allotments and car parks, and withing five metres of marked sport pitches.

Named areas where dogs may have to be kept on a lead are; West Bay Harbour walk and promenade, The Parade and roads leading to The Parade and the beach in Swanage, Studland Beach – including the car park and the staircase leading to the beach, and Shell Beach.

Dog exclusion areas

Some of the existing orders ban dogs from areas clearly marked ‘no dogs.’ These areas include skateboard parks, tennis and basketball courts, bowling and putting greens, other fenced playparks, sporting facilities and marked sports playing surfaces.

Consultees can answer whether they think dogs should be excluded from these areas, whether they should be kept on a lead in these areas or whether there should be no restriction.

People can also say whether there should be exclusions, or dogs on leads or no exclusions in children’s play areas.

Beaches

The orders currently stipulate different periods of the calendar when restrictions are applied across Dorset’s coastline, included ‘on-lead’ requirements and prohibition of dogs.

The proposal plans to harmonise the start and end dates of when these restrictions apply.

People can say whether they agree that it should be harmonised or not.

They can then say whether the restrictions could be applied 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.

Central Beach, Swanage

Swanage and Wareham Voice:

The existing order prohibits dogs from Central Beach during specified summer months.

Consultees are asked if this should change, or if dogs should be permitted in this area.

They are also asked if dogs should be kept on leads for the rest of the year when they are permitted on the beach.

Studland Beach

Swanage and Wareham Voice:

Currently, dogs have to be kept on a lead on Studland Beach during the summer months.

People are asked whether this should change, stay the same or whether dogs should be on a lead on the beach all year round.

Swanage and Wareham Voice:

West Bay Beaches

Swanage and Wareham Voice:

Dogs are currently prohibited from West Bay Beaches during the summer.

The consultation questions whether they should continue being excluded from the area or whether they should be permitted.

They are also asked if dogs should be kept on a lead throughout the remainder of the year on the beaches.

Finally, they are asked whether they think dogs should only be prohibited from the East Beach How to have your say

If you want to have your say on the proposed dog-related public spaces protection order, you can download the consultation from www.dorsetcouncil.gov.uk/dogspspo