Dorset Council has launched a public consultation today, asking residents for their views on eight proposed Public Spaces Protection Orders (PSPOs).
The proposals include changes to existing PSPOs which currently cover West Dorset and Weymouth and Portland areas, but are due to expire next year. The new Orders are set at town level for Weymouth, Portland, Dorchester, Bridport, West Bay and Lyme Regis and aim to renew and introduce powers that can be used by the council and partners to address anti-social behaviour.
In all six towns a dispersal order is being proposed, which would mean that people engaging in anti-social behaviour could be fined if they fail to move on when asked.
The new plan for Weymouth suggests small amendments to the existing restrictions for cycling on the promenade and extending measures around alcohol consumption to more areas in the town. A ‘gating order’ would also see gates installed to restrict access to Trinity Passage. The area, which runs parallel to the main public footpath along North Quay and trinity Road, has been subject to anti-social behaviour which impacts on residents and use of Holy Trinity Church.
For towns in West Dorset the revised plans include changes to boundaries in Bridport and Lyme Regis where drink orders are in place. In Dorchester the intentional feeding of gulls will be added to the existing PSPO.
The council are also asking for views from the public on two new PSPOs which intend to help tackle issues arising from camping on beaches and would introduce new measures to help to prevent wildfires.
The proposals would restrict camping on beaches in several locations, including Chesil Beach, Weymouth Beach and Lulworth. The Order has been suggested in response to the rising number of people camping on beaches during summer months in 2020 and 2021, which led to a significant increase in nuisance complaints, damage to property, accumulation of rubbish and human waste and destruction of natural habitat.
The Dorset Open Land Anti-Social Behaviour related PSPO aims to offer an additional measure in preventing wildfires, following the devastating fire at Wareham Forest in May 2020 which destroyed over 220 hectares of the forest. The proposal is supported by Dorset & Wiltshire Fire & Rescue Service, who emphasised they are committed to working with the council to protect these areas.
Cllr Laura Miller, Portfolio Holder for Customer and Community Services, said:
“Dorset Council has a key role to play in helping to make sure our public spaces can be used and enjoyed by everyone.
“We don’t want to prevent or stop people from enjoying themselves responsibly, but we know how anti-social behaviour can impact our communities and we need to ensure we have measures and tools in place should we need them.”
The consultation will run until 13 January 2022.
More information about the proposed PSPOs and surveys can be found at: dorsetcouncil.gov.uk/PSPO-consultation