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Change to Cornwall's dog beach ban list is criticised

Change to Cornwall's dog beach ban list is criticised

Published by Sarah Yeoman at 9:42am 14th May 2020. (Updated at 9:58am 14th May 2020)

Written by Richard Whitehouse, Local Democracy Reporter

A hotel owner has criticised Cornwall Council claiming it changed the beaches which face restrictions for dogs without telling anyone.

Lisa Burbidge, from Whipsiderry Hotel, said that she was surprised to find that Porth Beach had been added to those where restrictions on dogs will come into force on Friday (May15).

Cornwall Council has adopted new restrictions – public space protection orders (PSPOs) – for dogs being allowed on beaches with some now only having restrictions in July and August. One of the main reasons for the change was to have set times across all beaches to make it easier to understand for residents and visitors.

However the council said when making the decision that beaches with Blue Flag status – awarded for sea water quality and cleanliness – would have to have restrictions from May to September in order to keep their award.

But now it has revealed that beaches with a Seaside Award – such as Porth – will also have restrictions from Friday.

Lisa said that she had taken bookings from guests in June and September where she had told them that Porth Beach would be dog friendly.

dog on beach 3

She said: “For so many people – locals, visitors and businesses in Porth this harmonisation and additional months of May, June and September to be allowed to walk with dogs on our local beach was greatly welcomed.

“Following the decision that was made to standardise Cornwall beaches local business whom I’ve spoken to many – Porth Camping Site, Mermaid Inn, Gwenna Tearooms, Roos Beach – all dog friendly and promoted this new change in times of Porth beach.

“Many of our guests participated in the consultation survey, followed the results and were thrilled at the outcome.

“I have new bookings for June and September telling customers Porth Beach is now dog friendly all day.

“We are all now extremely disappointed and feel very let down.

“We feel there has been a great error and total lack of consideration of the impact that by including the Seaside awards under the same heading as Blue Flag beaches will have.  At no point in any TV, radio or press release or even in the minutes of the dog consultation meeting with councillors was Seaside award beaches mentioned or included as exempt from the harmonization of standards.

“I have campaigned for many years on this matter for locals, businesses and visitors to the area. I feel the compromise of having a ban in July and August completely understandable and acceptable but to release one thing and then change it to another I feel has been done extremely underhanded and ultimately will have a huge impact to everyone who loves walking Porth beach and bay.

“Cllr (Rob) Nolan worked extremely hard during the initial consultation and we all very much appreciated his hard work and his understanding of what the people of Cornwall and the public were calling for – but to openly confirm one thing and then to sign off another,  surely, the council have  failed to re engage with the community after backtracking on false information.

“And especially now at these unprecedented time, with limited travel and limited time we are allowed out,  our local beaches have been a lifeline for many, but this will be restricted for all locals to use throughout the day from this Friday, is so unbelievably disappointing and unjust.”

Lisa Burbidge, Whipsiderry Hotel

dogs on beach ldrs

Rob Nolan, Cabinet member for environment, who is responsible for the PSPOs said that there had been an alteration to the beaches covered but said that it had been clearly stated by the council.

“Initially we said Blue Flag beaches were the exception and then we realised that the seaside award beaches would lose their status if they did not have the same restrictions.

“It was all amended and added in a week before the decision was made public and we sent out an email to all councillors to let them know.

“We are now out changing the signs this week, but that has been restricted due to all the other things happening at the moment.

“It doesn’t affect an awful lot of beaches and if we didn’t do it then those with Seaside Awards could lose them and people work very hard to ensure they get those awards and keep those standards.”

Rob Nolan, Cornwall Council

dog beach

The beaches where restrictions will come into force on Friday with dogs not allowed between 10am and 6pm are:

  • Carbis Bay Beach
  • Crackington Haven
  • Crooklets Beach, Bude
  • Gyllyngvase Beach, Falmouth
  • Polzeath Beach
  • Porth Beach
  • Porthmeor Beach, St Ives
  • Porthminster Beach, St Ives
  • Porthtowan Beach
  • Sennen Beach
  • Trevone Beach, Padstow
  • Widemouth Beach

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