Dogs could be banned from more of Felixstowe beach but for less time - is this a good idea?

People are being asked for their views on a proposed dog ban. Picture: PAMELA BIDWELL

People are being asked for their views on a proposed dog ban. Picture: PAMELA BIDWELL - Credit:

Dogs could be banned from a larger stretch of one of Suffolk’s most popular beaches under new proposals out for public consultation.

Suffolk Coastal District Council is seeking people’s views on when and where dogs should be banned from Felixstowe’s beach.

Existing bylaws already prevent dogs using the beach from May-October, between Arwela Road and near the Spa Pavilion, however the new options could see almost all of the resort’s coastline included in the ban.

Although the new option would cover a larger stretch of beach, the ban would only be in place in peak hours, rather than all day.

It would mean dog owners could use the beach at quieter times of the day, even during summer when they are currently banned 24/7.

The proposals are part of an ongoing scheme to introduce Public Space Protection Orders (PSPOs) to control dogs across Suffolk Coastal.

Their aim is to prevent uncontrolled dogs disturbing other beach users in the most popular areas during peak tourism times.

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Option one for the Felixstowe PSPO is based on the existing bylaw, which would ban dogs from the groyne between Manwick Road and Arwela Road to the groyne opposite the Spa Pavilion, between May 1 and September 30 each year.

The second option would cover an area from the groyne next to Manor Terrace car park to the groyne nearest the junction of Undercliffe Road East with Maybush Lane. The ban would also run May 1-September 30, but only from 10am-6pm each day.

Felixstowe Town Council, which asked for the second option to be included, said it was to provide greater flexibility than the old bylaw allowed.

A council spokesman said: “We asked whether there would be any merit in looking at a longer stretch but restricted to just 10am-6pm.

“That way dog owners can still exercise their dogs in the morning or evening, when it’s less busy, but the ban would apply over a larger area.”

The spokesman said that a “resurgence” in Felixstowe had brought more visitors and meant the beach was busier over a larger stretch.

“The council has an open mind to what the public would prefer, but we thought it was worth including in the consultation,” he added.

Other dog bans have proved controversial. In Southwold, there was widespread opposition to Waveney District Council’s proposals to ban dogs from the entire beach between March and October. However, a compromise was reached whereby the ban was shortened to last six months, rather than eight.

To take part in the consultation, email Felixstowe Forward.

Let us know your view. Take part in our online poll, comment below or email our Newsroom.

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