Dog controls in the gardens

Following a number of complaints from residents about the large numbers of dogs congregating in particularly Adelaide Crescent gardens, and a sometimes intimidating group of dog owners there, we asked the Council for a statement about the current controls, given that Brunswick Square has a ban on dogs. This was the response we received from Roy Pickard, Environmental Health Manager:

“Palmeria and Adelaide Square has always historically been a dog friendly area. The rules have not changed. The Dog Control Orders made in 2009 repealed the historical by-laws with new rules that were identical for this piece of open space.

Current rules that apply to Palmeria and Adelaide squares include the need the clear up after dogs, and to put dogs on a lead when dangerous and out of control. Dogs are also required to be on a lead on the streets and pavements surrounding the square. The rules are enforced by the city’s Animal Welfare Team, the city’s park rangers and local PCSOs. Routine patrols of Palmeria and Brunswick Square are carried out by the animal welfare team and I understand they patrol the area regularly. The team is more than happy to investigate any dog related incidents and you can call 292929 to report any problems.

The current Dog Control Orders were resolved by full Council, following the open, public Cabinet Members Meeting and Cabinet route for decision making.

The Council carried out a full and open public consultation process in 2007 and 2008. During these consultations there was intense media and citizen interest, including petitions. There were two consultations, with the second one dealing with the recommendations and outcomes of the first one.  The responses we had from the public in respect of the city’s historic squares were clear. The public wanted the balance of dog friendly areas and dog ban areas to remain unaltered.

The consultations, which complied with best practice guidelines, engaged 150 local open spaces groups, the open spaces forum, City News, the Evening Argus, the Citizen Panel, local television news, and used posters, leaflets and council’s website. The scheme was resolved and implemented by full Council in 2008. The amended, consolidated and simplified rules on keeping dogs under control came into force on 1 January 2009, replacing older, less transparent, inconsistent byelaws, as required and recommended by Clean Neighbourhoods & Environment Act 2005.

Experience informs us that this subject attracts very strongly held and opposing views. Any changes to the current Dog Control Orders will require another careful public consultation process and all that that will involve in terms of demands upon resources and management through the decision making process to full Council. The Clean Neighbourhoods and Environment Act 2005 also recommend that dog ban areas are enclosed to prevent accidental breaches of the rules, as well as clear signage. Enclosing Palmeria and Adelaide Squares would have resource implications.   I would therefore request strong evidence that there is a clear community view for a change, before embarking on the process.  Even then, this would be likely to be very controversial as were the last consultations.

I trust this response answers your queries in full, but if you have any outstanding questions please do not hesitate to contact me.”

FOPA holds copies of the June 2008 BHCC Cabinet Meeting on the subject of dogs in gardens and the resultant Control Orders. If you would like copies sent, please contact

Anti-social behaviour related to dogs or their owners should be reported to the Police non-emergency number 101, or 999 if considered dangerous.