Glengormley park dog ban extended by council in response to increase in fouling

Antrim and Newtownabbey councillors have extended a dog ban at a park in Glengormley following an increase in fouling.

The borough council’s Operations Committee agreed at a meeting on Tuesday evening that dogs will now be excluded from a ‘kickabout’ area at Sandyknowes Park as well as the playground.

Members were reminded that a number of Dog Control Orders (DCOs) is effective in the borough, mainly in council-owned parks, where dogs may be exercised off-lead, must be kept on a lead or are excluded.

Currently, dogs are excluded from the play area within Sandyknowes Park A fence has been installed around an informal ‘kickabout’ area in response to incidence of dog fouling, councillors have been told.

Dog fouling has increased

it is proposed to exclude dogs from this area through amending The Dogs Exclusion (Newtownabbey Borough Council, Children’s Play Parks and Recreation Grounds) Order 2012.  However, dogs may still be exercised off lead in the remainder of the park.

Proposing the recommendation,, Macedon Ulster Unionist Councillor Robert Foster called for enforcement to be stepped up.

He reported that horses are also being exercised in the ‘fenced off area’ and he highlighted a need for enforcement in the park.

Glengormley Alliance Alderman Julian McGrath said:  “There are signs up about dog fouling and they are not allowed on the pitch.

“Hopefully with this order being passed, our enforcement actions can be  brought in other areas of the park as well.”

Last August, the council agreed to ban dogs from the new sensory garden at Hazelbank in Newtownabbey.

The £30,000 fully accessible sensory garden funded by the Department for Communities Access and Inclusion Programme is designed to stimulate the senses and to provide a quiet enclosed space suitable for those with special needs.

Dogs are excluded from the sensory garden with the exception of assistance dogs.

In 2013, the legacy Newtownabbey Borough Council introduced legislation banning dogs from all children’s play areas, playing fields and recreation grounds owned or maintained by the council. Dogs must also be kept away from recreation areas such as bowling greens, tennis courts and other specified areas.

Dog fouling can result in a fixed penalty of £80. If the fine is not paid, the owner can be taken to court result in the fine rising to £1,000.

Antrim and Newtownabbey issued 94 penalties for littering and eight for dog fouling during 2020, Street cleansing cost £37 per person.

Michelle Weir, Local Democracy Reporter

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