Dog owners win Instow beach ban fight
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 .