Dorset Council is considering easing dog restrictions on a west Dorset beach following a 10-week consultation period.

Dogs could be permitted to roam free on Lyme Regis Front Beach without a lead, in winter only, after Dorset Council published a report on its dog-related Public Spaces Protection Orders (PSPO).

Some 54 per cent of respondents were in favour of lifting restrictions on dogs on leads on the beach over winter.

At the moment, dogs are only permitted on the beach between October and April but they must be kept on a lead.

The changes in Lyme Regis would not take effect until January, 2024. The recommendations would still need to be agreed at the Place and Resources Overview Committee on October 5 before being approved by the Cabinet on November 7.

The changes will then remain in place for three years, until December 31, 2026, when the order will be revised.

There will also be no change to the restrictions on the pathways adjacent to the Lyme Regis’ Front Beach or West Bay Harbour side and Esplanade, where dogs will still be required to be on a lead.

Questions asked during the consultation period related to whether dogs should be kept on leads in certain areas, permitted into places such as cemeteries, public gardens and sport pitches, as well as how people felt about restrictions on specific beaches.

A total of 4,221 responses were recorded, with 80 per cent coming from residents and 16.5 per cent from visitors. Most respondents were dog owners making up 62 per cent of those who took part in the consultation.

Cllr Laura Beddow, Dorset Council’s portfolio holder for Customer and Community Services, said: “We have had an excellent response to this consultation. It is important that we have the views of a good cross section of the community that is affected by this order.”

PSPOs are to prohibit specified activities, and/or require certain things to be done by people engaged in particular activities, within a defined public area. They were introduced as part of The Anti-social Behaviour, Crime and Policing Act in 2014 to help fight antisocial behaviour in a localised manner.

Not abiding by a PSPO can lead to receiving a fixed notice penalty or face prosecution for certain offences at a magistrate’s court.

To view the report in full you can visit Dorset Council’s website at