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Monday, May 16, 2022

Dog Runs proposal welcomed

Dog walkers will be able to let their dogs roam freely after a proposal to establish more ‘dog runs’ within the borough passed unanimously at the Environmental Services Committee.

Following a proposal last year from DUP councillors Mark Fielding and Alan Robinson, a report was brought before committee which identified new sites at Christie Park, Coleraine; Roe Mill Recreation Grounds, Limavady; St John’s, Portstewart; Quay Road Playing Fields, Ballycastle and Westbay, Portrush.

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With two successful dog runs already operational in Ballymoney, officers identified further locations using a number of criteria such as: large enough in which to place a dog run (size 1000m2 to 1500m2 ) without impacting on other users; not close to residential properties risking noise/nuisance to property owners;  Easily accessible either by foot or vehicle; extensive opening hours or permanently open to the public; not subject to any by-laws prohibiting walking of dogs and Not part of any AONB, ASSI etc.

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Each site will cost approximately £2,000 using chestnut paling fencing which the committee agreed on.

Welcoming the report Alderman Fielding said: “It’s good to see the six largest towns in the borough will have dog runs. 

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“In terms of Portstewart, St John’s Close will be a good location for such a run. It’s a large green and it’s close to the town. West Bay in Portrush is also a good location so I would be in favour of both of those locations. In relation to the fencing, the chestnut fencing would be more environmentally friendly.”

Ald Fielding proposed the report was accepted with Alderman Alan Robinson seconding. It will now go to full council on Tuesday, April 5 for ratification.

Following the meeting, Ald Fielding said: “We welcome that additional dog runs have now been identified following our 2021 motion.

“Dedicated dog runs at the proposed parks will provide dog owners the freedom to let their pets off the lead so that they can exercise and play in a controlled manner and will also complement the Green Dog Walkers Scheme.”

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