Bans to control dogs, feeding seagulls and anti-social behaviour extended across East Devon

Blackdown House, East Devon District Council's Honiton headquarters. Picture: Dan WIlkins

Blackdown House, East Devon District Council's Honiton headquarters. Picture: Dan WIlkins - Credit: Archant

Bans for the control of dogs and feeding seagulls have been extended for a further three years by East Devon District Council.

The authority has renewed its Public Spaces Protection Orders, which also include bans on certain anti-social behaviour.

The first two orders refer mainly to the control of dogs and also include a ban on feeding seagulls on the beaches and seafronts, to discourage them from becoming a nuisance to residents and visitors.

The third order is used by Devon and Cornwall Police to control anti-social behaviour and excess drinking in the centres of Exmouth and Sidmouth.

Originally introduced in May and June 2017, the renewed orders have been reviewed over the past six months and now incorporate some minor amendments, mainly at the request of parish and town councils.

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Some new children’s play areas have been added to the maps, and the areas of dog bans on beaches have been extended down to the mean low-tide level.

This latter change brings the orders into line with other authorities around the country.

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Additional areas can be added into the orders during the next three years and it is likely that this might include banning dogs from some more sports pitches.

But, adding any new areas cannot be done without a full, local public consultation.

A number of local residents have asked if parts of the orders can be suspended during the coronavirus lockdown, particularly the part relating to the beach bans.

The council considered the request, but the legislation does not permit suspensions, and officers have noted that the beaches have been very quiet during April, when dogs are not banned.

A council spokesman said they must consider the view of the many members of the public who like to come to the beaches without worrying about being bothered by dogs.

Therefore, suspending this part of the order would have no effect and would lead to confusion when the lockdown is relaxed or lifted.

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