Questions remain over dog fouling powers after the mystery of the ownership of a playing field was solved.

Shotton Town Council’s hopes of opting out of a local authority public space protection order (PSPO) look to have been dashed – for now at least – after it was revealed they were not the owners of the 33 Club playing fields on Shotton Lane.

Councillors had thought they were the rightful owners of the playing field, used by sports teams in the town, and had sought documentation to establish the land’s history in a bid to potentially opt out of the PSPO enforced from October 20, 2017 which bans the walking of dogs on marked football and rugby pitches.

The order allows Flintshire Council to enforce the complete exclusion of dogs from a defined area or keeping dogs on leads in certain open spaces at all times, such as cemeteries, children’s play areas and other formal recreation areas.

However, documents held by the local authority revealed that the land had been passed on to the then Clwyd County Council by private owners in 1957 for preservation as a recreational field for the community and is leased to Shotton Town Council on a seven-year basis.

Speaking at Monday’s March meeting, Cllr Dave Evans, Shotton East Labour members, who had led calls for the Town Council to walk away from the PSPO, told community leaders that they would have to accept the status quo for now.

He said: “Unless there are other avenues, we’re stuck with the PSPO that applies for all of Flintshire.

“Even if we take the lease, we’re stuck with it.”

Cllr Mike Evans, Shotton East independent and chairman of Aston Park Rangers FC, warned that if the town council didn’t renew its lease on the field, the club would fold if forced to pay maintenance fees imposed by Flintshire Council.

Members will debate whether to renew their lease on the playing fields during the April meeting of the town council.