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Public to be asked for views on allowing dogs back on Felixstowe beach

PUBLISHED: 13:08 31 October 2017

Dog walkers taking part in a Blue Cross charity event on Felixstowe prom - owners are hoping they could be allowed to exercise their dogs on the beach again from next summer

Dog walkers taking part in a Blue Cross charity event on Felixstowe prom - owners are hoping they could be allowed to exercise their dogs on the beach again from next summer

Archant

Proposals to allow dogs back onto the main stretch of Felixstowe’s holiday beach appear unlikely to be given the go-ahead until further public consultation has been held.

The family pets have been banned from the resort’s shores between the Spa Pavilion and Arwela Road for nearly 30 years.

But now town councillors have asked if people can be be allowed to walk their family pets on the shore before 10am and after 6pm, leaving the ban in place only during daytime.

Councillors also want the length of beach covered for the daytime restrictions to be extended to run the length of the main prom from Cobbold’s Point to Manor End to end confusion about the restricted area.

The proposed changes though have already drawn some criticism with opponents saying they were “ludicrous” and a ban would only work properly if it was 24/7.

Suffolk Coastal’s cabinet will discuss the idea, along with changes to rules for dogs on other parts of the coast, on November 7.

In a joint report, Steve Gallant, responsible for community health, and Carol Poulter, responsible for the green environment, said the plan would mean almost doubling the size of the current dog ban area while allowing some access to owners and their pets.

They said: “This represents a significant change to what was originally proposed and consulted on and we are therefore suggesting that a further period of consultation be undertaken on this revised proposal before a decision is taken.

“It is worth noting and should be made clear during the consultation that the requirement for dog owners to clear up after their dogs in all public open spaces, including beaches, is contained in a separate Public Space Protection Order (PSPO) and would still apply (subject to cabinet approving that PSPO) at times when the town council is looking for controls on dogs to be relaxed, ie at the beginning and end of the day when people are less likely to be sitting on the beach and disturbed by dogs being exercised.”

Elsewhere in Felixstowe, restrictions on dogs are to be tightened at Landguard to protect ground nesting birds on the nature reserve.

Rules banning dogs from Aldeburgh beach from May to October will also continue under the new PSPOs.

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Drivers are being warned the Orwell Bridge is likely to shut tonight until tomorrow morning due to forecast high winds.

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