Dog walking limit in Richmond backed by High Court

Dog owners and professional walkers have been told they can only take four with them at a time by a High Court judge.

Plans to control the number of dogs walked by one person have been ruled lawful by a High Court Judge - writes itv.com.

Dog walkers in Richmond, south west London, will now be limited to walking four dogs at a time.

But Richmond Council will offer up to 18 licences for residents and borough-based businesses who wish to walk more dogs, but only up to six.

The new rules were approved by Richmond Council last year as part of a Public Space Protection Order to address anti-social activities in public spaces.

This included flying drones, starting fires or barbecues and setting off fireworks as well as dog-related problems.

The new PSPO rules were challenged for being unlawful by local resident Caroline Summers but a High Court Judge ruled in favour of the Council.

Mrs Justice May DBE dismissed Caroline's challenges on the limit to the number of dogs and the provision for licences, the proper control of dogs, and on exemptions related to disability grounds.

However Mrs Justice May did remove two prohibitions on not “causing annoyance to persons or animals” or “damage to any Council structure, equipment, tree, plant or turf.”

Councillor Pamela Fleming, Richmond Council Cabinet Member for Environment, said:

Our intention is not to limit fun but to ensure that parks are open for all to enjoy.

We have particularly seen a rise in the number of complaints we are receiving about dogs not being under control and professional dog walkers from other boroughs bringing dogs to our parks.

This has become a problem since neighbouring boroughs introduced similar rules.

We have listened. We will limit the number of dogs. And, those local residents who do have a number of dogs, can apply for a licence.

– COUNCILLOR PAMELA FLEMING, RICHMOND COUNCIL CABINET MEMBER FOR ENVIRONMENT

The PSPO was approved by the Regulatory Committee on July 11, 2017 and adopted by the full council on September 12, 2017.

The six sites across the Richmond borough that now require a licence to walk up to six dogs are Ham Lands, Palewell, East Sheen, Crane Park, Barnes Common and Hampton Common.

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