Cornwall Council applies for dog ban for Portmellon beach
Dogs could be banned from a Cornish beach after complaints about unruly animals and "irresponsible owners".
Mevagissey Parish Council is applying for a Dog Control Order from Cornwall Council for Portmellon Beach – but the move has sparked anger from some dog owners.
"The complaints were largely on the basis that dogs were fouling on the beach, and were out of control, hassling children and parents," said parish council chairman Michael Roberts.
"And the behaviour of owners towards the people who approached them has bordered on the obscene in many circumstances. We then had all the dog-lovers around the area who have been complaining in the opposite direction."
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The council said a Dog Control Order would give them the option of either controlling the times dogs were allowed on the beach, or banning them altogether.
"I'm definitely against the ban because 99% of dog-owners are responsible," said Chris Harvey, owner of the Rising Sun public house in Portmellon.
"I think the ban would destroy quite a lot of the business down here. Dog-owners come to the pub because they like the walks and stay in the guest houses."
Chris Mitchell, of Pentewan Lane, is spearheading a campaign called Dogs Love Portmellon to try and stop the ban. "Mevagissey and Portmellon are renowned as dog-friendly places," he said.
A petition on www.dogsloveportmellon.com has already received more than 100 signatures, about half of which Mr Mitchell said were from holidaymakers who said they would not visit Portmellon again if a ban was enforced.
The issue would have to go through a formal consultation process before any decision is made.
"At the moment the parish council has just decided to pursue obtaining a Dog Control Order," said Mr Roberts. "It doesn't mean we will actually place a ban. I have no doubt there will be considerable controversy. Inevitably it will raise the hackles of some and we will be inundated with letters protesting."
Earlier this month St Ives Town Council voted to ban dogs from some of the town's main bathing beaches during the summer. This was despite two thirds of about 1,000 people who responded to a consultation being against the ban. And last week, Wadebridge Town Council also opted to ban dogs from some recreation grounds and green spaces in the town.