Dog ban maps ‘flawed’ - claim

Archive photo.  INCT 21-724-CON
Archive photo. INCT 21-724-CON

Mid and East Antrim Council has responded to claims that maps outlining a number of proposed dog exclusion zones in the borough are “flawed”.

The local government authority launched a fresh consultation exercise in February to seek public feedback on a number of dog control orders.

These included proposals to ban canines from a number of children’s play areas in the borough, with separate proposals for dogs on leads.

However, there have been queries over a number of the maps provided as part of the consultation documents.

One resident, Tony Barclay, drew attention to alleged discrepancies in maps outlining exclusion zones at Carrick’s Windmill play park. “The plan of this area as provided for consultation encompasses public footpaths to the side and top of the designated (and completely fenced) play area. These footpaths should not be included, are not within the play [park], and are access paths to various areas,” he said.

The local man suggested that similar inaccuracies exist in maps provided for several other areas, such as Marine Gardens and Legg Park.

“The maps are representative of the designated maps provided as part of the consultation process; they are to be taken as the areas to be included within the proposed Dog Exclusion and Dogs on Leads control orders, and will therefore be legally binding both on MEABC and the public,” Mr Barclay added.

He went on to claim the maps “misrepresent the actual play areas, encroach not only upon public footpaths and public highways, but also into private gardens”.

“The maps are part of a lawful process, and will form an integral part of local bye-laws. It is important that any map or designation is entirely reliable and can be clearly defined by all. Almost every one of the maps and defined areas presented are flawed.”

The local man called for the designated areas as shown in the maps to be “redrawn, correctly identifying the public footpaths, access points, play areas, artificial play areas, public roads and private properties currently included in the maps”.

With the consultation having closed on Monday, April 4, “all responses will be reviewed in full and on that basis, recommendations made to council”, according to a MEABC spokesperson.

“The recommendations will include maps specifically delineating in detail only those areas proposed to be included under the relevant order.”

Last year, an initial draft order covering exclusion from parks and playing fields was withdrawn after it was deemed excessively strict by local dog owners.