Mole Valley

Website URL : http://www.molevalley.gov.uk/index.cfm?articleid=32118

Public Spaces Protection Orders

Public spaces protection orders (PSPOs) are intended to deal with a particular nuisance or problem, in a specific area, that is detrimental to the local community's quality of life. It does so by imposing conditions on the use of that area which apply to everyone. PSPOs impose conditions or restrictions on people using that area to deal with particular issues such as the consumption of alcohol in a defined area.

They are designed to ensure the law-abiding majority can use and enjoy public spaces, safe from anti-social behaviour. Mole Valley District Council (MVDC) can make a PSPO if it believes the activities are detrimental to the local community's life. MVDC, in partnership with the Police, introduced the first PSPO in the District at Kingston Road Recreation Ground on Friday 24 February 2017.

Dorking and Leatherhead Town Centres

Designated Public Place Orders (DPPOs) regulating the consumption of alcohol have been in place in Dorking and Leatherhead Town Centres since 2005 and 2007 respectively. These DPPOs expired on 20 October 2017 and have therefore been transferred to PSPOs, covering the same designated areas and applying the same restrictions. Although it is not an offence to drink alcohol in Dorking or Leatherhead town centres, it is an offence to fail to comply with a request by an authorised officer to stop drinking or surrender alcohol. PDF copies of the PSPOs, including a map of the designated areas, are available (see 'Downloads').

Meadowbank Recreation Ground, Dorking

Meadowbank Recreation Ground is located behind St Martin's Walk in Dorking town centre with access from Mill Lane, Ashcombe Road, London Road, Chalkpit Lane, Rothes Road and Fairfield Drive.

The facilities include an award-winning state of the art children's playground, skate/BMX park, outdoor gym equipment, multi use games area and aerial swing. Early 2018, a new community-based sports facility will be opening, including a 3G pitch, stands, club house, soft play and café facilities.

Consultation to introduce PSPO

Meadowbank fell within the area of an existing Designated Public Place Order (DPPO) - which regulated the consumption of alcohol in Dorking Town Centre. Because the DPPO expired on 20 October, MVDC consulted with local residents, businesses and users of Meadowbank on a proposed PSPO to replace it, including restrictions on anti-social drinking, dog fouling and dog access to the managed play area.

MVDC ran the consultation for five weeks from 17 July 2017 to 18 August 2017. It was promoted through the MVDC newsletter, social media and posters in the park. We wrote to residents of streets adjacent to the park and contacted sporting and fitness groups who are regular users of Meadowbank. The survey was available online and paper questionnaires at various public buildings in Dorking were also provided.

Consultation results

256 respondents completed the survey. Responses were also received by email. 

  • 70% of respondents thought there would be a negative impact if the DPPO was not replaced by a PSPO regulating consumption of alcohol
  • 65% thought that regulating dog fouling with a PSPO would have a positive impact
  • 71% thought that restricting dog access with a PSPO just to the fenced and gated children's playground would have a positive impact
  • 27% had experienced or witnessed substance misuse
  • 37% had experienced or witnessed intimidating and abusive behaviour by groups of young people
  • 44% had experienced or witnessed littering

Contents of the PSPO

The PSPO brought in the following measures for Meadowbank Recreation Ground, within the shaded area on the map below:

  • Controlled Alcohol Zone - although it is not an offence to drink alcohol in the recreation ground, it is an offence to fail to comply with a request by an authorised officer to stop drinking or surrender alcohol
  • Controlled Dog Zone - it is an offence for dog owners not to pick up dog faeces, with the exception of owners of assistance dogs. It is an offence to bring dogs into the fenced and gated area of Meadowbank Playground, again, with the exception of assistance dogs. It is also an offence not to put a dog on a lead in the shaded area on the map when required to do so by an authorised officer

The following amendments to the PSPO have been made as a result of consultation results received:

  • It is an offence to be verbally abusive to any person, behave in a way that causes harassment, alarm or distress, and misuse of any drugs or intoxicating substances within the boundaries of the PSPO
  • Exclusions to the PSPO have been amended to cover a wider range of assistance dogs

Although littering was highlighted as a concern, this is not included as an offence in the PSPO, as it is already covered by other legislation.

The full Meadowbank PSPO is available (see 'Downloads'). The PSPO will be enforced through a combination of CCTV monitoring, Council enforcement and Police patrols.

For more information about PSPOs, please call the Partnerships team on 01306 885001 or email partnerships@molevalley.gov.uk

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© 2017 Mole Valley, Pippbrook, Dorking, Surrey, RH4 1SJ.
Tel: +44 (0)1306 885001 Fax: +44 (0)1306 876821, 2017.