Dorset

Dog owners hand Weymouth beach ban petition to council

Dog owners on Weymouth beach
Image caption The change is due to take place from 2017

Campaigners hoping to overturn new rules banning dogs from Weymouth's beach for seven months of the year have handed a petition to the council.

Weymouth and Portland Borough Council extended the time dogs are not allowed on the beach from May until September to Easter until the end of October.

The change, due to start in 2017, extends the ban for up to nine extra weeks per year.

The petition, launched by resident Judi Moore, has been signed by 1,150 people.

She said she hoped it would be debated by the council in January.

'Retrograde step'

Weymouth Borough Council said the decision was taken after a public consultation.

The council said nearly 1,700 people responded, with about a quarter wanting a year-round ban.

But protesters said 63% of respondents wanted the dates to stay as they were.

In October, hundreds of owners staged a dog-walking protest on Weymouth beach over the new rules.

Following the protest, community protection councillor Francis Drake said: "Members were aware that the majority of respondents wanted the dates to stay the same.

"However, after taking the consultation results into consideration, the Policy Development Committee made the decision to extend the ban."

Ms Moore called the ban a "retrograde step".

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