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Dog owners win Instow beach ban fight

By North Devon Journal  |  Posted: February 07, 2013

Dog owners on Instow beach say they will fight any plans to ban their pets

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DOG owners seem to have won the fight to use all of Instow beach – after the owners said proposals for zoning would not go ahead.

Instow Parish Council had decided to see whether there would be support for a move to restrict access to the beach for dogs after a number of complaints.

But the Christies Estate Trust, which owns the beach, says a dog ban will not happen.

Parish council vice-chairman Michael Green said: "We have had a lot of complaints from families who have said they won't bring their children here.

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"Equally a lot of dog owners have said the same and the argument, which is true enough, is they bring trade as well. What we're seeking to achieve is a compromise.

"We have responded to Christies and explained the background. Their concern is they want to satisfy all beach users which is our concern as well."

Raymond Caldwell, from Christies, said: "These proposals will not be going ahead. A minority of the council have started this and it's entirely unenforceable.

"We've never had complaints about dogs in the past but in the past week we have had an inordinate amount of correspondence from people opposed to the idea of banning dogs."

Joanne Bell, a member of the Dog Walkers' Alliance, which is opposing any restrictions, said the consultation was a sham.

She said: "The general public and beach users have been treated with utter contempt and disrespect over this sham consultation process.

"We will treat the council's ridiculous conclusions with the same contempt."

The dog consultation evening signalled the start of a busy week for the parish council with electors in Instow todaydue to choose three new councillors after three quit in December.

The council is also consulting residents over how they would like to see the beach cleaned. As far as the issue of the beach clean goes, Mr Green said it was straightforward.

"For many years the clean has been done by scraping the beach with a tractor but there have been complaints this wasn't good enough.

"One of the questions is whether we look into hand picking the rubbish, which is inevitably more expensive. It's whether people would like to see that or not."

Instow parish councillors, including the three newly elected members of the council, will discuss the results of the consultation at the council's next meeting on February 14.

It is not expected to make any decisions until at least the following meeting, on March 21.

POLL: Are plans to ban dogs from part of Instow beach for part of the year a good idea? VOTE NOW. The poll can be found on the right-hand side at the top of this page. Alternatively, visit www.thisisnorthdevon.co.uk/polls .

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  • PennyBunn  |  April 24 2013, 5:14PM

    Many congratulations to the Instow dog campaign team, and to Christies for injecting some common sense into the current DCO madness that seems to be sweeping the country. Yet ANOTHER case of a council trying to bring in Dog Control Orders in direct opposition to the vast weight of public opinion. This victory is marvellous and should inspire dog campaigns everywhere! Other campaigns are underway in St Ives (where dogs will be banned from ALL accessible beaches from this summer onwards, throughout the summer season) and in Perranporth, where a Dogs on Leads Zone that was introduced under highly suspect circumstances has been opposed for several years by the terrific campaign team there. 'Against the Perranporth Beach Dog Restrictions' is available on Facebook at: https://http://tinyurl.com/dx49zu5 The St Ives campaign is going to court and if you want to keep up with what's happening there, or contribute to the legal fund, they'd be delighted to hear from you. Contact 'https://http://tinyurl.com/cnfwe78 Meanwhile, I can't congratulate you guys enough. Well done, well done, WELL DONE for taking on the authorities and winning! And heartfelt thanks to Christies, for making it clear to the council that the proposed DCO stood no chance of being introduced. Thank-you so much!

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  • trudie2010  |  February 07 2013, 12:23PM

    I'd rather be on a beach with a dog than a noisy squawking kid.

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