EDDC vote to keep their paws off Winters Lane field

The saga over dogs being allowed on Winters Lane field looks to finally be over after East Devon District Council agreed to do nothing.

The long-running feud over whether a dog control order should be in place at the playing field is finished after everyone now seems to be in agreement to leave the whole of Winters Lane open to dog-walkers.

Back in February last year, EDDC agreed a plan to ban dogs from the field, except for a 20 metre exercise area at the bottom, but it had never been enforced.

Last month Ottery Town Council wrote to the district to tell them not to make any enforcement order and drop the proposal after it had provoked substantial opposition.

At Wednesday’s cabinet meeting EDDC unanimously agreed to support the town council’s resolution.

They said a need had clarly not been proven for the order, and there had been substantial opposition to it.

Members of campaign group ‘Ottery Dogs’ have been battling to keep the recreational area open to dog-owners, and some of their members, along with Ottery Mayor Glyn Dobson and his deputy Ian Holmes, who both live next to Winters Lane field, were at the meeting at Knowle to hear the decision.

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District councillor for the town David Cox said the initial plans had received more complaints than any other application for a dog control order, and was glad the council were rejecting it.

But he added they must be vigilant to make sure the field is now kept clean of dog mess, adding: “We don’t want dog owners to relax.”