A CONTENTIOUS consultation which could lead to dogs being banned from sections of Dorset's beaches has been extended.

Members of the public have been given an additional three weeks to have their say on Dorset Council's proposals to introduce new rules on dogs in public places.

The council says the extension was granted because some residents would have been unable to obtain paper versions of the survey because of restrictions due to the coronavirus lockdown.

County Hall also insists it want to give those who may have been self-isolating or shielding the chance to comment.

Dorset Council member for regulatory services, Cllr Tony Alford, said: “These orders are to make sure that everyone – with or without dogs – can safely enjoy public spaces.

"We want to hear a wide range of views from as many people as possible.

"We know that some people hold very strong views on the topic, and we aim to reflect a balanced and fair perspective within the new order."

The consultation focuses on rules about dogs in public spaces and will help shape the development of a new Dorset-wide Dog-related Public Spaces Protection Order.

A Dorset Council spokesman said: "The consultation is a chance for people – residents, business owners, organisations and visitors – to have their say on where and when they think there should be restrictions on dogs in public places, including beaches.

"It will also cover topics such as fouling and lead length."

Visit dorsetcouncil.gov.uk/dogspspo or call 01305 251 010 to have a paper copy of the survey delivered.

The deadline for submitted surveys is now midnight on Tuesday, May 12.