Council officers oppose Ottery dog ban

CONTROVERSIAL Ottery dog-control proposals should be binned according to environmental health bosses.

CONTROVERSIAL Ottery dog-control proposals should be binned according to environmental health bosses.

Bids to ban dogs from Winter's Lane playing field and to restrict them to being kept on leads in the Land of Canaan SHOULD NOT be included in a region-wide revamp of control measures- and the recommendation will go before East Devon District Council's (EDDC) corporate overview committee next Thursday (March 26).

The suggestion follows a public consultation over the subject in which Ottery "generated a level of response" greater than the rest of the region put together.

Ottery town council wanted the restrictions enforced in the hope both sites would become more appealing for children to play in.

In a report to EDDC, environmental health manager Andrew Ennis said: "The balancing of the needs of local dog walkers with the desire of the town council to set the area aside for children is difficult."

"At the time of our visit (to Winter's Lane), the field was being used by a number of dog walkers and it is clear that there are genuinely few alternative locations for dog walkers in the immediate vicinity."

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"However, Winter's Lane playing field would also be well suited to use as an area primarily for children and the request for a dog exclusion order put forward by the town council is also suitable."

"The route to the obvious alternative dog walking location, Millenuim Green, is indirect and may present a problem for less mobile dog walkers."

Should EDDC corporate overview committee members agree to the recommendations, they will go before the council's executive board for confirmation.

If passed, the new orders will replace existing byelaws on both Ottery sites which state dogs must be kept on leads, but have not been enforced.

An EDDC spokesman said Ottery fell into a category of "areas where the weight of public opinion, expressed through the consultation exercise, shows that such orders would be controversial."

He said: " In these areas, where opposition is significant and the evidence of need inconclusive, the proposal is to invite those town and parish councils that have pressed for the orders to bring forward their own proposals.