NEW restrictions have been put in place in a Darlington park - but residents are unhappy they were not consulted.

Green Park in Darlington has had dogs-on-leads-signs installed throughout the park, as well as new bollards in place in the entrance to the park to stop vehicle access to the park.

Judith Gainsborough, a local resident, said: "It's quite a sociable area, there are a lot of dog walkers, I've spoken to a vast number of people who are upset about the restrictions.

"There’s these bollards as well so that the residents who’s houses back onto the park can no longer get vehicle access to the park."

“This has also happened without any consultation with the residents.

“We have made a formal complaint to the council and have asked about whether a risk assessment was carried out and what are the health and safety issues about this.

“We would be very concerned if something happened in the park and an ambulance couldn’t get to them because of these bollards.

“We haven’t had any response from the council yet, they have acknowledged the complaint, but we are still waiting for a response.

"I believe that the majority of people are responsible and the majority of the dogs are well behaved, and we haven't had any communication to know why it's been done.

"There are areas of the park where dogs don't have to be on a lead but it's difficult to police when they're running around and to try and catch them and tell them where they can't go.

"It just feels like the council has given in to one person who has a very polarised view of what should be happening in the park.

Judith added: "We'd like to see the restrictions completely removed, we do feel that if there is a concern about the play area and dogs not getting into the play area then that area should be fenced off, and that would be an easy way of ensuring that dogs are not in the area and make things easier for a lot of dog owners.

Jonathan Dulston, deputy leader of the Council, said: "The restrictions on dogs are part of the new public space protection orders which have been applied across the town.

"Dogs must now be on a lead in certain parts of the park. Signs and maps showing which areas are affected have been put up at the park entrance and on the railings.

"The bollard was put up to protect park visitors from vehicles in the area.”