Littlehaven Beach designated bathing water proposals will not restrict dog access

Dog owners have expressed their concerns over access to Littlehaven Beach following the designated bathing water proposal.

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On Friday, August 18, South Tyneside Council launched its proposal to classify Littlehaven Beach, in South Shields, as a designated bathing space.

In order for Littlehaven Beach to be classified as a designated space for bathing, certain criteria has to be met.

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This means that the proposed designated bathing water must be coastal or inland water, have at least 100 bathers a day during bathing season (May 15 to September 30) and have toilet facilities within 500m from the site.

As part of the proposal, residents, visitors and business owners are invited to have their say on the idea during a six-week consultation, which runs until September 30.

Following the launch of the consultation, dog owners have expressed their concerns to both the Shields Gazette and South Tyneside Council over whether the proposals will impact on dog access during the summer months.

Littlehaven Beach in South Shields. Photo: South Tyneside Council.Littlehaven Beach in South Shields. Photo: South Tyneside Council.
Littlehaven Beach in South Shields. Photo: South Tyneside Council.

Currently, restrictions are in place that ban dogs on Sandhaven Beach between May 1 and September 30 - with Sandhaven already having designated bathing water status.

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Following the concerns, South Tyneside Council has clarified the matter and confirmed that the proposals for Littlehaven Beach will have no impact on dog access.

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South Tyneside Council’s website states: “There are no plans to restrict dog access to Littlehaven Beach.

“Many areas designated as a bathing water around the country allow dog access, including Marsden Bay in South Shields.

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“The existing Dog Control Public Spaces Protection Order restricts dog access to Sandhaven Beach only.

“This restriction is between 8am and 6pm, from May 1 to September 30.

“We are currently consulting on extending the existing Dog Control Public Spaces Protection Order until November 2026.”

If the Council’s application is approved by the Government, the water quality at Littlehaven Beach would be regularly monitored and tested by the Environment Agency during the annual bathing season.

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Comments or concerns about the proposals can be submitted via email to [email protected] or in writing to Environmental Sustainability, South Tyneside Council, Town Hall and Civic Offices, Westoe Road, South Shields, NE33 2RL.

For further information about the consultation, visit: