Barking mad! North Norfolk District Council accused of ‘demonising dogs’ with introduction of new Public Space Protection Orders

A dog has a ball at the beach at Wells, which has been named one of the most dog friendly beaches in

A dog has a ball at the beach at Wells, which has been named one of the most dog friendly beaches in the UK. Picture: Ally McGilvray - Credit: Archant

Fears have been voiced that North Norfolk could lose its appeal as a dog-friendly visitor destination if new restrictions are introduced.

North Norfolk District Council's Cabinet is set to meet in Cromer on Monday to vote on proposals for new Public Space Protection Orders (PSPOs)

They include proposals to create new no-go areas for dogs and other areas where they must be kept on a lead at all times.

The revised scheme, which replaces previous powers, is accompanied by a request from Natural England for PSPOs to be extended to all areas covered by an SSSI - a Special Site of Scientific Interest.

But pet owners have argued that the plans would require costly signage, are unenforecable, discriminate against dogs - which they point out have a right to exercise - and do nothing to address the problems posed by wild animals and littering which they claim is a greater nuisance than dog fouling.

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Commenting on the consultation, the Kennel Club, which promotes the general improvement of dogs, said: 'The Kennel Club welcomes the decision of the council to remove some of the dogs on lead and exclusion areas but believes that some of the remaining and new proposals are overly restrictive.

'For example, from the information published in association with the consultation, a year round dog exclusion at the Goggs Mill Picnic Area, Fakenham would seem to be excessive.

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'With regard to sports pitches, we ask local authorities to consider whether or not access restrictions are absolutely necessary. If they are deemed to be needed, whether 'in use' or seasonal restrictions would be more appropriate than an outright ban.'

And Lee Paris, campaigns officer at Dogs Trust, the UK's largest dog welfare charity, added: 'It would perhaps be beneficial to the council to reconsider such exclusions on the grounds that dog-friendly tourism may suffer as a result of such bans.'

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