1. ITV Report

Consultation starts on beach dog ban plans

Dog walkers riled by plans to ban dogs from some of Cornwall's most popular beaches will be among those rushing to have their say on the plans from today (July 6th). The proposals by St Ives Town Council could see a permanent year round ban on dogs at St Ives Harbour beach. It would also place a seasonal restriction of dogs on beaches of Porthminster, Porthmeor, Porthgwidden and Carbis Bay.

Visitors and tourists use the beaches to walk their dogs Credit: ITV Westcountry

The planned changes have angered dog walkers in the area. Hundreds of people have already contacted the council about the matter, both for and against, ahead of the formal twelve week consultation. Many residents and tourists walk their dogs on the beaches in St Ives Parish. Under the proposals only three beaches would carry no restrictions in a bid to allay health concerns.

There may be one or two irresponsible dog owners and these are the ones one needs to tackle. You don’t need to use a sledge hammer to crack a nut. Why ban dogs totally from beaches when the vast majority of them act responsibly.

– William Thomas, St Ives resident speaking when the plans were announced

The review of Beach Dog control Orders is being carried out by St Ives Town Council. It follows concerns raised after the change in beach dog controls by Penwith District Council in 2007.

Some beach-users say not enough people clear up after their dogs Credit: ITV Westcountry

Before the 2007 changes, dogs had been banned for a 24-hour period from Porthminster, Porthmeor, Porthgwidden and Carbis Bay beaches, from Easter Sunday to 1 October each year. The move from the old byelaw to new Beach Dog Control Orders at that time brought about a change which meant that dogs could be walked on these beaches during the summer months, but not in the daytime. This is still the current system - with dogs allowed on these beaches from 7pm to 8am between 1 May and 30 September each year.

Three beaches will remain restriction-free to dogs as part of the changes Credit: ITV Westcountry

Under the new plans not only would there be a permanent ban on dogs from Harbour Beach, but there would be a 24 hour a day ban of dogs on Porthminster, Porthmeor, Porthgwidden and Carbis Bay beaches from the Sunday before Easter Sunday to the end of September each year.

It is already clear that this is likely to be a polarised debate, with numerous letters of support already from dog walkers (locals and holiday visitors alike) who value the opportunity to exercise their dogs and enjoy the beautiful beaches in the area. Similarly, many strong letters calling for a ban on dogs have been received.

– St Ives Town Council

While restrictions could be imposed on most of the beaches in the area during the summer months, dog walkers would still be able to exercise their dogs on Bamaluz and Lambeth Walk beaches, as well as Porthkidney Sands. Included in the proposals are plans to enforce dog walkers to keep their dogs on leads on the footpath between St Uny Church in Lelant to Porthkidney Sands.

Some people who use the beaches at St Ives have raised health concerns about dogs using them Credit: ITV Westcountry

The aim of the review is to find a fair way for all parties to enjoy the beaches, allowing for a whole variety of user needs, including a wish for dog-free bathing beaches, dog-walkers wishes to be able to exercise their dogs on the beaches, families wishing to bring children and dogs to beaches, health concerns, worries about uncontrolled dogs, access to beaches and many more issues that have already been raised.

– St Ives Town Council

Members of the public have twelve weeks from today to have their say on the plans. The town council needs to receive all responses by September 28th. The results are likely to be discussed by the council at a meeting on October 25th.

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