Consultation: Have your say on changes to dog controls (SCDC to 22 September 2017)

Posted by Town Hall Staff 23 August 2017

Suffolk Coastal is asking the public to have their say on proposed changes to dog controls in the district.

Currently, there are several by-laws and an order made under the Dogs (fouling of land) Act 1996 in force which impose requirements on dog owners including prohibiting dogs from certain areas, requiring owners to clean up after their dogs on most open land, and also requiring dogs to be kept on a lead in certain defined areas.

Examples include existing dog controls which prohibit dog fouling on public open spaces and the Town Police Clauses Act 1847, which deals with dogs on the highway harassing users  PSPOs also provide a more effective and efficient way of dealing with these types of offence through the issue of a Fixed Penalty Notice.

Suffolk Coastal originally contacted Town and Parish Councils to ask for their views. Now, we are consulting with the public on the proposal to find out their views

The proposed Public Space Protection Orders include:

  • Excluding dogs from designated areas of Aldeburgh beach from May to September – These controls already existed and are being translated into a PSPO
  • Excluding dogs from designated areas of Felixstowe beach from May to September – These controls already exist but there is a slight change to the designated area
  • Making it an offence not to clear up after your dog if it fouls in any open space in Suffolk Coastal – These controls already exist and are being translated into a PSPO

Cllr Steve Gallant, cabinet member for Community Health, with responsibility for Community Safety at Suffolk Coastal, said: “We’re making changes to our dog controls to ensure they are up to date to reflect today’s requirements and enable the use of Fixed Penalty Notices to help us deal more effectively with offenders

“We are a nation of dog lovers so this is an important issue for some so we’re asking the public to have their say on the proposed changes.

“This isn’t about banning dogs everywhere. It’s about replacing the existing laws to protect specific places where problems have been raised, with a more effective way of ensuring people control nuisance dogs. For instance the new proposals for Shingle Street and Landguard Point Nature Reserve are to protect the ground nesting birds.

“The vast majority of dog owners exercise their pets in a responsible manner, but we need to make sure we have measures in place to take action against those who do not.

“While there are some significant changes in some areas, there are only minor changes in others and some of the controls are staying the same, so we would ask that everyone read the proposals in detail.

“Ultimately we want to ensure everyone can enjoy our public spaces, including dog owners, without people being bothered by nuisance dogs, so the proposed changes need to reflect a fair balance for all.”

One of the areas where Suffolk Coastal wants to explore public opinion is a wider set of controls relating to dogs on public land such as:

  • Keeping dogs on a lead on the highway and roadside footpaths and verges, along with pedestrianised urban areas, sports grounds, cemeteries, churchyards, burial grounds and allotments – These are new controls to address nuisance dogs where they may cause public safety issues close to the highway or public health issues in allotments
  • Excluding dogs from all fenced and gated children’s play areas – This is a new proposal to protect child safety and health
  • Dogs to be kept on leads in a designated area south of Shingle Street from May to September – This is a new proposal to protect ground nesting birds in a specified area and will only apply during the nesting season
  • Keeping dogs on a lead in the designated area at Landguard Point Nature Reserve – These are new controls amongst other things to protect ground nesting birds and other wildlife in the nature reserve

To take part in the consultation, visit:

The Orders most relevant to Felixstowe are as follows (links to documents):

If you wish to comment on these proposed new Public Space Protection Orders, please do so by emailing or in writing to: 

PSPO Consultation c/o Environmental Protection, Suffolk Coastal District Council, East Suffolk House, Station Road, Melton Suffolk IP12 1RT

Comments should reach us by Friday 22 September 2017.

All consultation responses will be given due consideration before any orders are made. The final decision will rest with the Suffolk Coastal District Council and will be scheduled for consideration at a Cabinet meeting after the closure of the consultation period