A final decision has been taken on when dogs will be allowed on Cornwall's beaches - and it goes against the recommendation of councillors.

Rob Nolan, cabinet member for neighbourhoods and public protection, has decided that restrictions will be in place only in July and August, except on beaches with Blue Flag status where they will apply for four and a half months, from May 15 to September 30.

In both cases the ban will be in place for an hour longer, from 10am to 6pm.

Mr Nolan's decision reverts back to the original officer recommendations, which followed a public consultation that received more than 13,000 responses - the highest number ever received by Cornwall Council.

Last week the council’s neighbourhoods overview and scrutiny committee councillors had decided that it would be better to have harmonised restrictions across the board and asked that the restrictions be in place from May 15 to September 30 in all cases.

Mr Nolan decided against this, but did agree with their extension to 6pm on all beaches.

These new restrictions will apply to 41 beaches, and will stay in place for three years unless reviewed.

There is an exception for Porthchapel Beach near Land’s End, where current restrictions will be lifted at the request of the private beach owner.

Mr Nolan said he had considered the recommendation of the scrutiny committee and closely examined the consultation responses before making a decision to introduce the Public Spaces Protection Order under delegated powers.

The council said the two-month restriction reflected the views of "the majority" of those responding, which it described as "a substantial 69 per cent".

In a statement it added: "Throughout the consultation there were strong arguments for and against reducing seasonal restrictions. On balance, the arguments for reducing seasonal restrictions were more compelling."

Rob Nolan said: “I must thank everyone who took the time to take part in this consultation, from Cornwall and beyond, both dog-owners and non dog-owners.

"We are a listening council, and this was the council’s largest-ever consultation response, with over 13,128 replies, 78 per cent from residents and 19 per cent from visitors.

“Across this huge response was a strong theme for the regulations to be both simpler to understand, and standardised across Cornwall. "At present they are different from place to place - some are 24 hours, some start at 7am.

"This is complicated and confusing, particularly for our visitors, so harmonising dates to two months, and times to eight hours a day, will make them easier to comprehend and to enforce."

He said the only exception would be on Blue Flag beaches, where the extended restriction recognised the concerns of some parish and town councils that had these status beaches in their areas.

Mr Nolan added: “This means people will be able to go down for a beach walk in the morning and the evening with their dogs. And people who prefer a beach to be dog free will also be clear about the months and times of day they can expect this.

“With clarity for everyone, tourist accommodation providers can let their guests know when and where their dogs are welcome – good for Cornwall’s economy and good for residents.

We will be monitoring whether dog owners honour these relaxed restrictions by cleaning up after their pets, and keeping them under control.

“I’m sure with common sense and mutual respect we can allow everyone to accept differing viewpoints, and all enjoy the beaches.”

New signs will be created underlining the responsibilities of dog owners.

Council officers will monitor the effect of these changes, and it is proposed that a review take place following the 2020 summer period in order to assess their impact.

A new ‘We are watching you’ poster and online campaign to counter dog-fouling is already underway. This will give information on reporting dog-related issues to Cornwall Council.