Dogs could be completely banned from a quartet of popular green spaces in Sidmouth and Sidford – with owners also ordered to keep canines on leads near cycleways.
Town councillors have told environmental health chiefs that all land used for ‘recreation and sports’ should be no-go zones for four-legged friends.
This includes Manstone Recreation Field, The Ham, Long Park and Sidford Playing Fields.
Representatives also want the animals to be kept under control in places where cyclist and pedestrian routes are in ‘close proximity’.
Sidmouth Town Council says it will look into creating ‘specific dog exercise areas’ on its land.
Better signage, increased dog warden enforcement and reducing the maximum number of canines allowed per walker – from six to four – has also been mooted.
The authority has sent a seven-point wish-list to East Devon District Council (EDDC) as part of a review of its Public Spaces Protection Orders (PSPOs).
The rules are reviewed by EDDC environmental health bosses every three years.
Under the PSPO from 2017, dogs are completely banned from the children’s play areas at Manstone Lane, Long Park and The Ham in Sidmouth. They are also excluded from the Manstone skate park.
Dog-on-lead restrictions are also in place at Long Park and The Ham recreation grounds, Coburg Lawns, the Putting Green and the Three Cornered Plot, Blackmore Gardens, Connaught Gardens and Glen Goyle.
Ahead of a response deadline on January 2, Sidmouth Town Council has told EDDC that it would ‘resist any relaxation of dog control orders’.
It also says ‘all land used for recreation and sports should be dog exclusion zones’ – including Sidford Playing Fields, The Ham, Long Park and Manstone Recreation Field.
Councillors, who discussed the matter at their December meeting, added that ‘there should be better signage overall and increased dog warden enforcement’.
‘Clearer signage’ at Jacob’s Ladder beach has also been requested.
Members also resolved that ‘the order relating to no more than six dogs should be reduced to no more than four dogs per dog walker’.
“Dogs on lead areas should be considered in areas where cycleways are in close proximity to pedestrian pathways,” the town council has told EDDC.
“The establishment of specific dog exercise areas should be encouraged and would be investigated by the town council on its own land,” added the authority.