Larne people are to be asked for their views on plans by the local authority to introduce dog zoning at Carnfunnock Country Park.
Following concerns from members of the public, Larne Borough Council has proposed introducing a Dog Control Order for the picturesque park. The plans involve splitting the park into three zones.
The red zone – which would exclude all dogs other than assistance dogs – includes the walled garden, maze, activity centre, golf course, family fun zone, the entrance road from Coat Road to the barrier hut, and inside buildings.
Dogs would be permitted on leads in the yellow zone, which includes the entire lower section of the park such as the games field, Drains Bay shoreline, the biodiversity trail and adjoining paths, the caravan park and tent area, car parks and linking paths, the exterior of the visitor centre and the main entrance road from the barrier hut to the activity centre.
All other parts of the park will be unmarked, and dogs will be permitted off leads in these areas. This includes from above the maze path, above the path entrance to the golf course and from Home Farm Lane upwards.
In April 2013, Larne Council introduced five Dog Control Orders in the borough to regulate dogs on beaches and other areas.
With the exception of the children’s play park , this initial set of Dog Control Orders did not provide for any specific controls at Carnfunnock.
The proposal to introduce dog zoning will require a 28-day public consultation.
The council had previously sought to ban dogs from the borough’s beaches, but were forced to backtrack following a flurry of public opposition.
At Monday’s meeting of Larne Council’s development committee, Cllr Mark McKinty asked if any progress had been made on the provision of a dedicated dog park; a safe area where dogs could be let off the lead to run around freely.
Director of development Linda McCullough responded that the council was having difficulty finding “an adequate space” for such a facility.