A Public Space Protection Order (PSPO) deals with potential anti-social behaviour in an area which could have a harmful effect on the quality of life for those in the local community. It can ban certain things, or need specific things to be done, in this case the control of dogs in public areas.

Dog Control Consultation – Have Your Say

The Council know that most dog owners properly control their dogs and abide by the rules. However, they want to encourage every dog owner throughout the South Hams to be responsible and these Protection Orders help with that.  

PSPOs last for three years before they need to be reviewed and the current orders run out in December this year.  The District Council now need to consult on the next set of Orders for the following three year period.  

The current review affects all existing PSPOs within the District and they want to hear what you think. The Council is also considering introducing new orders within existing PSPO areas, as follows: 

  • Dog walkers must carry dog bags or other container to collect dog waste
  • Restrict amount of dogs that can be walked at to four at a time

The Council have received proposals from communities in the following five areas for changes to their current order: 

  • Courtenay Park in Salcombe.  Currently, Courtenay Park is an area where dogs are to be kept under control at all times.  They are allowed to run free off the lead and dog walkers are expected to pick up after their dogs. 

Proposal: The Council have received a proposal to re-categorise Courtenay Park to an area where dogs must be kept on a lead. 

  • Butts Park, Newton Ferrers.  Currently, Butts Park is an area where dogs are kept on a lead and dog walkers are expected to pick up after their dogs.

Proposal 1: A proposal has been received to re-categorise Butts Park to an area where dogs are excluded.

Proposal 2: Another proposal has also been received to re-categorise Butts Park to an area where dogs are kept under control at all times, allowed to run free except when organised sport is in play they must be kept on a lead, and where dog walkers are expected to pick up after their dogs.   

  • Malborough Playing Fields. Currently, Malborough Playing Fields is an area where dogs are required to be kept under control at all times and on lead when organised sport is in play.  Dog walkers are expected to pick up after their dogs at all times. 

Proposal: The Council have received a request to withdraw the PSPO from the Playing Fields, which are owned by the Malborough Village Hall & Playing Fields Association, in favour of the Association applying its own rules for dog walkers.  

  • Specified Beaches. Currently, all of the beaches listed, are closed to dogs between 10 a.m. and 7 p.m. from 1 May to 30 September. 
    • Salcombe South Sands
    • Hope Cove (Mouthwell Sands)
    • Challaborough
    • Bigbury
    • Wembury, and
    • Bantham (part of - to include private area also).

Proposal: Dogs to be excluded from the beach between 10 a.m. and 5 p.m. from 1 July to 31 August. 

The consultation runs from Monday 1 June to Friday 31 July 2020.  Officers can issue fixed penalty notices up to £100.00 for those who don't follow the Orders.  

South Hams District Council's Portfolio Holder for Environment, Cllr Keith Baldry, said: "It's really important that as many people as possible give us their views on how they feel about the existing Orders in their area.  We have lots of dog owners in the South Hams and the majority are responsible and control their dogs perfectly well.  We all need to live, work and play together so these Orders should help us to do that in harmony with others. 

"We'd especially like to know residents' thoughts on the new proposals for reducing large numbers of dogs being walked by only one person.  Also the requirement that all dog walkers must always carry bags, or some other way to collect their dog's waste, when they are in public spaces.  Again this isn't an issue for our responsible owners who we know already do this. 

"If residents live in one of the five areas where new proposals have been suggested then we need to know what they think.  Are the changes for the better or worse?  Let us know. 
 
"Please do tell us what you think by emailing our Environment Protection Team before the consultation ends on Friday 31 July." 

Once the consultation is closed, a decision will be made before any changes start from December 2020.   
 If you would like to share your thoughts about the proposals, please contact the Environmental Protection Team on: pspoconsultation@swdevon.gov.uk

Or by post to:

Environmental Protection Team
South Hams District Council
Follaton House
Plymouth Road
Devon
TQ9 5NE