Published Tuesday, 29th August 2023
Reigate & Banstead Borough Council is seeking local people’s views on the public space protection orders (PSPOs) used to control the behaviour of dogs, particularly in its parks and green spaces.
There are more than 100 dog PSPOs currently in operation in the borough, which must be reviewed and consulted on before the Council can decide whether to renew or amend them. These set out how dog walkers should control their dogs and can apply either borough-wide or in specified areas, such as parks, commons, play areas and sports facilities.
The five-week consultation, which opens on 29 August 2023, aims to gather feedback from a wide variety of individuals and groups who use the borough’s many parks and green spaces. In line with legislation, the Council would like to hear whether people think the current orders should be continued, changed or stopped; as well as their views on some proposed new orders.
Proposed dog controls
The type of behaviour controlled by the PSPOs, include:
- where dogs must be kept on a lead
- where dogs are not allowed, such as playgrounds and tennis courts
- dog fouling
- the maximum number of dogs a person can walk at any one time.
The Council’s 2023 review of its Dog PSPOs includes new proposals to:
- reduce the maximum number of dogs that a person can walk at any one time from six to four, as recommended in the RSPCA's Professional Dog Walkers' Guidelines
- introduce dog exclusion areas at the Battlebridge Lane athletics track, Merstham and the new play areas in Westvale Park, Horley
- keep dogs on lead in the grassed area west of the lower lake to the footpath at Earlswood Lakes.
Dog PSPOs give the police and Council powers to issue fixed penalty notices to anyone responsible for a dog that they reasonably believe is in breach of the PSPO.
Cllr Hannah Avery Executive Member for Neighbourhood Services said: “Our fantastic parks and green spaces are well loved by people of all ages; and are important habitats for many plants and animals too. If you visit them, whether it’s with a dog or without, please tell us what you think of the proposed dog controls and help us to balance the needs of all who rely on these important public spaces.”
How to take part
The Council wants to hear from as many people as possible, including visitors who come into the borough to use the open spaces.
People are encouraged to read the information about the three borough-wide PSPOs, as well as the information for any specific park or green space they visit before taking part in the survey. All information and a link to the survey is available on the Council’s website at www.reigate-banstead.gov.uk/dogs-pspo
A paper copy of the survey can be requested by email from JET@reigate-banstead.gov.uk
What happens next?
The consultation closes on 3 October 2023. Responses to the surveys will be considered along with other evidence from the Council’s Greenspaces team, Joint Enforcement Team and other relevant officers. It will also review evidence from the police and other local partner organisations. Based on all of this, Council officers will make a recommendation to Councillors who will decide whether to renew or amend each of the PSPOs. Results of the consultation, and the decisions that follow, will be published on the Council’s website.