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Proposal to ban dogs from newly-opened £0.75m skate park in Newtownabbey

Antrim and Newtownabbey councillors are being asked to ban dogs from the newly-opened skate park at the V36 park in Newtownabbey.

Currently dogs are excluded from the play area and sports pitches within the V36 site beside Valley Leisure Centre.

The 14,000 sq ft facility is suitable for skateboards, scooters, inline skaters, Parkour and BMX freestyle. It is open “from dawn until dusk” with floodlights to be switched off at 10.00 pm.

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A number of Dog Control Orders (DCOs) are 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.

Valley Leisure Centre

Dogs will be able to be exercised off-lead in the remainder of the park.

In January, councillors extended a ban to pitches at a park in Glengormley due to an increase in fouling with dogs now be excluded from a ‘kickabout’ area at Sandyknowes Park as well as the playground. Horses have also been exercised in the ‘fenced off area’ .

Dogs were banned from the sensory garden at Hazelbank Park in Jordanstown last August 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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