THE STRETCH of Weymouth beach open for dogs throughout the year could be moved, under new plans.

The dog exercise zone is currently located near to the Pavilion.

But it could be moved to the area between Jubilee Clock and Pier Bandstand following a Dorset Council consultation.

The council gathered views about a dog-related Public Spaces Protection Order (PSPO) across the Dorset Council area with the aim of redefining the rules to give more clarity and consistency for both dog owners and non owners.

The survey ran for 15 weeks and 8,602 responses were received - 83 per cent of them from local residents and 64 per cent of them dog owners.

Participants were asked questions about the dog restrictions on specific Dorset beaches. These included whether dogs should have to be put on leads, whether the start and end dates of the restrictions should be harmonised across the county and whether there should be a dog exercise area.

Respondents were asked whether the permanent dog exercise area at the Pavilion should be changed, to which 62 per cent said no. However, the option of moving the exercise area to between the Jubilee Clock and the Pier Bandstand was popular with participants.

A spokesman for Weymouth Town council said: “Weymouth Town Council would want to relocate the dog exercise area on Weymouth Beach from its current position to the area between the Jubilee Clock and the Pier Bandstand. The dates for this should be between May 1 and September 30.” The entire beach is open to dogs throughout winter. A report on the consultation states: “The responses were often quite different depending if they were dog owners or not. Many non dog owners felt dogs should not be allowed on the beach at all. Many people believed the exercise area was in the wrong place and too small, with many suggestions of moving the area further along the beach. The most popular specified area was between the Jubilee Clock and Pier Bandstand with some saying how much easier it would be if located between two well- known and highly visible landmarks.”

Dog Friendly Weymouth and Portland also believe the exercise area should be changed. They say moving it to the area between Jubilee Clock and Pier Bandstand would allow easy access to the water edge for disabled dog walkers.

In a second question about dogs in Weymouth, 77 per cent of respondents agreed that dogs should be put on leads on the pedestrianised area of the Esplanade.

A spokesman for Dorset Dogs, an organisation supporting good dog ownership, said: “This is an extensive area. Dogs on lead restriction would be appropriate by busy traffic and parking areas.” Questions were also asked on whether dogs should be permitted into certain areas, such as graveyards, public gardens and sports pitches, and whether they should have to be kept on leads in public spaces.

Councillor Jill Haynes, Dorset Council portfolio holder for customer and community services, said: “We have had an excellent response rate for this consultation. And it gave us a wealth of information to base the new PSPO. Thank you to everyone who took part.”

The report was being discussed by the Place and Resources Overview Committee today and will go before Dorset Council Cabinet on October 6.

The full report is available at