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Dog park plea after near-miss

PUBLISHED: 00:43 18 October 2008 | UPDATED: 21:33 05 July 2010

A WOMAN is campaigning for a specialised dog park for Lowestoft after becoming frustrated by the lack of provision in the town.

Sophie Jackson wants to develop a fenced-in area for dogs to play freely and safely, much like similar resources across America and Europe.

A WOMAN is campaigning for a specialised dog park for Lowestoft after becoming frustrated by the lack of provision in the town.

Sophie Jackson wants to develop a fenced-in area for dogs to play freely and safely, much like similar resources across America and Europe.

The issue arose after Miss Jackson's dog Cadbury and another were “nearly killed” by a Suffolk County Council works lorry when they were playing off-lead in Pakefield Park, by the side of Stradbroke Court.

Despite the driver receiving a caution, she was told that no dogs should be allowed to run around on the site because it is council land.

Now the 25-year-old wants to find somewhere where dogs can play that doesn't coincide with children's play parks, sports areas and busy roads.

Miss Jackson, who has an eight-month-old Labrador, said: “Cadbury was off lead playing with several other dogs when a council workman drove into the park and nearly killed two of the dogs, mine included. This resulted in me complaining to the council, who in turn have cautioned the driver, however they inform me that no dog is allowed to be off lead in Pakefield Park because it is council land.

“It seems more and more dog walkers are being told where they can't go, but no one is making provisions for them.”

Miss Jackson said Pakefield Park borders several roads and a car park with no fencing, Broadwaters Park has no true gates and is near a busy road, while a new park by Coastline Vets, in Lowestoft Road, contains a skate park, children's and sports area.

“So why is there not a dog park in Lowestoft. In the US and Australia as well as Europe, these are the norms. They are fenced in areas with benches for the humans, water fountains and plenty of space for all the mutts to run around,” said Miss Jackson.

“If the council is going to restrict areas where people can walk their dogs, then at least they should give one decent area where dogs can play freely and safely.”

A Suffolk County Council spokesman said they apologised for any distress caused to Miss Jackson.

“We do encourage anyone coming in to the home or working in the home to be careful and considerate. Stradbroke Court car park is next to the park where people walk their dogs so we would encourage owners to put their dog/s on a lead when near moving vehicles.

“We have spoken to the contractor who will now be more aware of people walking their dogs and will be more cautious when accessing the car park.”

A spokesman for Waveney District Council said contrary to what Miss Jackson was told there are no restrictions for dogs in Pakefield Park other than the requirement to clean up after your dog.

“It is the responsibility of every dog owner to control their pets appropriately and the council would not consider spending public money erecting fences around open space land simply because owners are unable to prevent their dogs from running away. If dogs cannot be controlled by their owners, they should be kept on leads for their own safety and the safety of others,” said the spokesman.

For more details about dog control log on to the environmental protection section of the Waveney District Council website www.waveney.gov.uk

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