New restrictions at Tilgate Park for dog walkers supported in principle
Crawley councillors have agreed in principle to the idea of setting up an order requiring people to keep their dogs on the lead in Tilgate Park.
A public consultation will now be held to gauge feeling for a three-year Public Space Protection Order covering all areas of the park (unless specified otherwise) and banning dogs from the children’s play area and Walled Garden.
The final decision on whether to bring the order into effect will be made by the cabinet in June and signed off by the full council in July.
Debate has raged online about proposed changes, with several dog owners feeling hard done by the proposed new restrictions.
During a meeting of the cabinet on Wednesday (January 12), members also agreed to reinstate a high-profile programme of education and information to encourage people to keep their dogs leashed.
This will include the installation of vandal proof signage, a communication plan to get the word out and community warden patrols.
A suggestion from the overview & scrutiny commission that a detailed map be drawn up showing the exact areas covered by the order was accepted by the cabinet.
As was the idea of looking into whether a register of professional dog walkers could be set up along with a webpage where people could report incidents.
Commission chair Tina Belben said: “Most dog walkers are responsible but serious incidents have been reported – and many more may go unreported – and the council has to do something to help stop this very upsetting antisocial behaviour.”