Residents call for ‘play area’ dog ban in Withycombe

PUBLISHED: 11:52 22 November 2013 | UPDATED: 11:52 22 November 2013


Dogs could be banned from a children’s play area in Withycombe following residents’ concerns.

The town council has pledged to put pressure on district bosses to erect signs banning dogs from a fenced–off play area in Emmasfield near Hamilton Road.

Nineteen householders have supported the concerns of grandfather Ian Smith.

He had spotted three young boys exercising a dog inside the enclosed grass area and contacted East Devon District Council- dogs are banned in play areas.

But because the area has no play equipment district bosses say it is a ‘public area’ and dogs are allowed.

Mr Smith said: “I am concerned because the area is used by children. I contacted East Devon District Council in the hope they would install a sign prohibiting dogs.

“They informed me to keep everybody happy it was permissible to allow dogs inside the fence. He added that Environmental Health bosses suggested the area could be designated as ‘no dogs allowed’ at the request of residents. He added: “I am not a dog hater - I have numerous young grandchildren who come and visit and play in the area. At least 12 children regularly use the area. My concern is protecting children from dog attacks and to prevent them from coming into contact with dog faeces.”

Councillor Sandy MacQueen said: “It is a play area. East Devon says that a play area has to have play equipment to be a play area. That is not so.”

Colin Poole said: “It is a strange affair when East Devon District Council’s dog warden wants a dog control order and is asking the town council to put pressure on the district council to do it.”

Councillor Mark Williamson said: “Dogs and children do not mix. They should ban dogs as a matter of expediency.”

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