New powers to protect our public spaces

Release Date: 03 July 2017

New rules that ensure the appropriate use of the borough’s parks and public places will be introduced, following a public consultation.

As a result of changes in national legislation, Richmond Council held a consultation on proposals for new Public Spaces Protection Orders (PSPO) earlier this year. This order would be used to address anti-social activities in public spaces, which are having a detrimental effect on the quality of life of local people.

The consultation looked at actions and behaviours such as the walking and control of dogs, flying drones, BBQs, starting fires and using fireworks.

At a Regulatory Committee Meeting (on 11 July), members will review the results of the consultation and consider the proposed PSPO, which has been amended to incorporate feedback from the consultation.

Subject to approval, the new Order would require dog owners to put their pets on leads in certain parks e.g. York House, Diamond Jubilee Gardens and Barnes Pond. They would also limit the number of dogs able to be walked at any one time to four and introduce a small licencing scheme for borough residents and borough-based companies, who wish to walk more, up to a maximum of six.

In addition, the proposed PSPO would give powers to stop alcohol being consumed by those behaving anti-socially and prevents drones, BBQs and sky lanterns being used in parks and open spaces.

Subject to approval, it is the intention to introduce the new Public Space Protection Order by autumn 2017. 

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

“We have some of the most beautiful parks and open spaces in London. We know that local residents really value these spaces, with 98 % satisfaction from our users.

“However, the enjoyment of our parks can often be ruined by people adopting anti-social or thoughtless behaviour. This includes using disposable BBQs, intruding someone’s privacy by flying a drone or playing loud music.

“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.

“Richmond upon Thames is a pleasant, vibrant and enjoyable place to live, work and visit and we very much intend for these orders to help us keep it that way.”

View the draft order

Notes for editors

If you are a journalist and would like further information about this press release, contact Panos Chatzinikolaou on 020 8487 5178.

Reference: P305/17

Updated: 31 July 2017