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ponies needing planning

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Guest CyprusPluto

Planning permission for a Shetland pony - is that only if they're more than 15 hands? :lol:


I've just had a thought - a seagull landed in my garden this morning and I haven't sought planning permission! :shock:

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Guest Anonymous

I've just had a thought - a seagull landed in my garden this morning and I haven't sought planning permission! :shock:

Do you want a cat?.. It'll sort out both our problems as far as 'change of use of a garden' is concerned!


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did the continental madness spread?


I know that here in Germany one does actually need planning permission for erecting a fence as well as for erecting an animal shelter for horses. And unless you are a farmer there is no way for horse owners to get the permission at all! People even had to dismantle fences and shelters which had been standing for many years only because someone all of a sudden felt deranged...


So it's perhaps more down to something like building standards than to grazing an animal... but without a fence round the field there is no grazing


Horses and ponies are not considered agricultural here unless they are working horses or it's an agricultural (not a professional) breeder.


Perhaps you should check the council whether there is now a daftie from the continent employed who brought those crazy ideas to Shetland?


Found this http://www.gateshead.gov.uk/DocumentLibrary/Building/Leaflets/planning/adviceguides/7.pdf

it's not Shetland, but... :roll:

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  • 5 months later...

I have only just found this thread by accident, or else I would have posted something earlier.


There's an awful lot of people on here jump to conclusions and pronounce judgement without the facts.


I am the owner of the property that - unfortunately - had this steel container, two Shetland ponies and a full grown horse for neighbors.


When we first moved in to our house, there were two Shetland ponies in the field, no container, no problem. Visits to the field had to cross our property to access the lower gate. Again, no problem, this access was written into the deeds, dating back to the '30s. It mentioned providing access for agricultural purposes. Within a few months, a full grown horse appeared in the field, as

the tenant of the field had purchased one for their child. Again, no problem.


The red cargo container appeared out of the blue, one day, and as my wife and I had a young child, whose bedroom was in close proximity to the steel container, I spoke to the horses' owner. He assured me that this was a "temporary measure" while they prepared something permanent. We took

them at their word...


The container was very, very noisy. Imagine a steel cargo container, with a

door cut into the midsection, a wooden ramp leading inside, housing two

Shetland ponies and a full grown horse in any and every weather. Kicking and

stamping the flooring and walls through the day and through the night, stamping up the ramp, fighting or playing, as Shelties do. As for the flooring, yeah, thin rubber mat over steel doesnt make much difference to a full grown

horse or to a pony for that matter. They're neither of them exactly lightweight!


No permanent structure ever appeared. Instead, the red cargo container was

painted a royal blue.


Then the stock fence between the field and our garden had an electrified cable

put up on it, where my then 5 year old son and his friends play. I spoke to

the owner and he told me it wasn't connected. Yet. But the cables and

battery were there ready, and the fence running along the section of single

track main road through Gulberwick next to the field WAS wired up and switched on. Those of you who keep animals know this is illegal. It took the HSE to resolve the issue in our favour.


Then, once again without warning or courtesy, the workmen arrived on our

property and started tearing up the fence, digging up the land and dumping

aggregate on the land in the field. Planning officers attended at my request and advised against it, as no permission had been sought - or for the original container, as it turned out. They could do no more than advise. The workmen

were instructed to go ahead and do it anyway.


I then refused the workmen any further access across our property. I also

withdrew permission for vehicular access to the field across our land, as this had increased from once every few days, before the horse, to two to three times a day - 4x4 and horsebox both - from anytime round 7am to 11pm, through the spring and summer months. Pedestrian access was to continue,

as per the condition in the deeds.


As it turns out, to install such a container/shelter and make these visits - for

equestrian NOT agricultural purposes - required a number of conditions, including change of use of the land from agricultural purposes. This is a standard in such cases as this. The main one for us, though, is standard throughout Shetland and Scotland, and has numerous planning precedents, where the first few metres must be surfaced with bitmac, to prevent mud and

loose vegetation, etc, being dragged onto the single track road. This was due to the change of use of the field and the installation of the container as permanent.


My wife and I own that land - despite attempts by one local who came to our door, telling us we were "getting into trouble", and a Councillor at the hearing to maintain otherwise. It's in our land certificate and the deeds. We refused permission for any such tarring, and still do so.


At the hearing, at least two Councillors attempted to browbeat me into

accepting that they could tell me what to do. I stood my ground. To my mind, here, the wee man won out, despite a certain vociferous Councillor shouting from the seating area about it being "a disgrace", once the vote had not gone his way. Yeah, thanks for your balanced representation there. This

was certainly not the Council and planners triumphing over the poor horses owner. They followed their established and well precedented procedures, with legal advice, etc. If we provided our consent for the road alteration, it would be a done deal. But we won't.


We never had a problem with the horses, but we wanted a suitable permanent structure built in the field - wood or breeze block would have been

better than steel!- at a reasonable distance from our home so as to provide some relief from the constant noise and visits. It wasn't an option.


I acted in the interests of my family to allow my wife and children to have a

decent nights sleep. We had another baby during all this and due to the

layout of our house, their nursery was right next to where the container sat. I very much doubt any of you would have done differently.


That's what really happened. Not the fanciful guesses and theories posted here at the time.

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^^ In fairness to everyone who commented on this thread, I think your points would be more appropriately directed at the media report linked in the OP (now unfortunately no longer available). Folk could only have an opinion based on the information they were able to access, and as best as I can recall the report in question painted a picture of there being one, possibly two at most, Shetland ponies in a field, which they only were taken out of infrequently to be ridden elsewhere, and them concentrated more on the "absurdity" angle of such a common and apparently innocuous arrangement requiring such "excessive" planning conditions.


If indeed the Shetland News report was other than what I recall, as detailed above, I withdraw my comments concerning it. However dwelling mainly on the "absurd" and "excessive" angles is my best recollection of it, and with Shetland News themselves having chosen to suddenly abandon their former site and the extensive Archives it contained, in favour of starting over completely afresh, they provide no opportunity for readers to refresh their memory now.

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I agree that was unfair on you for them to put the container near your house. however the planners did insist that the access be tarmaced. rightly you were against this however if inforced on fields with horses in it then it would add to the costs. strangley cows don't appear to walk mud onto the road.


It would have been better if the two of you could have resolved it without the council. by the way the matting is not thin. they could even have poured rubber flooring. but again it would have been better for the animals and looks for a stable to be put up. it would be slightly more expensive but a lot nicer.


the story did not mention you just that the council were wanting a change of use for keeping horses and the tarmacing.

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Cows can leave quite a mess. The access to the field would need to be strengthened for vehicle access. It is also not right to leave mud on the road. A large patch of mud does not mix with motorbikes very well.


Although I mentioned the Big Society, it seems to fall foul of the individual. The Big Society would allow the masses to force an issue many of them would want to be seen done, similar to the comments made here, however, if it goes wrong, then you are all to blame? Or still the Council?


The public are not experts really. When all has to be taken into account.


The report would only mention the Council, as they are the ones enforcing.


It is good of I. S. to take the time to come here and explain.


It is a shame some folk have difficulties caused by others. I hope it all gets sorted to every ones satisfaction

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Sorry, I didnt see the article at the time it must have come out and tried reading it last night, when I found this thread, but the link was broken or it was gone. I realise, from the replies received, that the details in it must have been kind of sketchy and if it's as you say, it was pretty poorly written.


The whole issue of planning permission came from the change of use of the land. Others in Shetland had already had this change of use imposed upon them, in similar circumstances, so the councillors felt they had to be fair and be objective and apply it across the board, including in this case.


This would make this a "new" proposal, just as if a new entrance was created into a field, or a new house was built, with a drive leading off such a road. Anyone who has done either lately will know the planning laws changed a while back and that ANY new case like this requires the entrance to be surfaced, at least in bitmac, as a minimum requirement, for a distance of several metres from the road. This is owing to the increase in traffic across the area in question and protects the existing public road (maintained at public expense) from unnecessary erosion and damage, abd keeps it free of muck, etc, being dragged out onto the roadway.


At least two councillors didn't agree, either with the bitmac, or the change in use. They were told by their fellows, and Roads representatives, that a consistent approach had to be implemented by the Council, based on planning laws and precedents, but they still didn't agree. They lost the vote. The loudmouthed councillor was not on the board - obviously much to his annoyance and pique. How the application of planning laws, which have already been implemented numerous times across Shetland, without protest, can be "a travesty" and "a disgrace" as he kept yelling after the vote had been taken, is beyond me.


And this from a man who had previously come to our house and told my wife he thought the whole thing was out of order and we had his support!

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Just to correct what I said earlier, I see it appeared as a letter on Shetland News, rather than a news article, so the fault for lack of information lies not with Shetland News, but with the letter writer, Jonathan Wills.


Maybe I picked it up all wrong, but from that letter I formed a mental picture of a lone pony who shared the field with "other animals". The inference of that term being used was that they were not other horses, but a different species....ie. sheep, cattle, goats etc, and that the pony was simply led out and in from the field to an awaiting horsebox to be transported to/from a wholly seperate site where it was ridden etc.


Having now been afforded the "other side of the story" by I.S. the whole thing is more a case of Wills having had yet one more self-promoting storm in a teacup over nothing. Three horses, not just one, clattering around in a steel container next to someone's house, who also were expected to tolerate a 4x4 crossing their property to access the field both early and late, and frequently, is very different to one pony, coming and going on foot occasionally that Wills seems to describe.

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Indeed, and thank you for your points which cut to the heart of this matter.


About his letter, the applicants were represented at some length by councillor Angus, who addressed the hearing on their behalf. They could have done so themselves, but they chose to be represented in this way. So, unless Councillor Wills is calling Councillor Angus' representation a "travesty", he is twisting the truth. His statements about measures taken by the horses' owner were NEVER discussed with us, and are wholly one sided, favoring the other party. That's nice work from a councillor, huh? How does he know their "measures" assessed anything? He doesn't, he was told so by them and that was the end of it. We watched he and Councillor Angus arrive outside our home, viewing the field and our house. We wondered if either would show us the courtesy of calling on us, to discuss the matter. No, they just looked at us, got in the car and drove away. Thanks, guys! As for his insistence that this would mean 20 or more driveways or entrances in Gulberwick needing the

same treatment, it was explained patiently and repeatedly by the Roads rep that this ONLY extends to new builds or cases, not existing access roads unless they are complained about and found to cause too much mess on the main road. So yet again, either Jonathan Wills wasn't listening, wasn't interested, or is deliberately misrepresenting what was actually said. I know which one I believe, and will address this at the next elections.


The other party was doing what we did, acting in their interests. That's fine, no quarrel now. But who's interest was Jonathan Wills acting in?


Their Councillor representative even insisted at one point that as the drive is a public thoroughfare (it's the old Gulberwick road which was disused and subsumed into private ownership at least 40 to 50 years ago), the Council should pay for and carry out the tarring. Once again I pointed out it's my land, much to a female councillor's annoyance, and could show them the deeds and land certificate. The Council immediately declined this proposal of doing the work, regardless of ownership, as it would set a very costly precedent from the public purse, at a time when cuts were being made.

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the fence running along the section of single

track main road through Gulberwick next to the field WAS wired up and switched on. Those of you who keep animals know this is illegal.


An electric fence is illegal? Is it not the same as in Germany, Austria, Italy etc. where an electric fence can be alongside a public road as long as pedestrians have 1 m between the road and the fence AND there is a warning sign every 100m?

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This is a single track road with no pavement and a very narrow verge, not 1 metre wide. No signs either.


And the other fence, which was hooked up, waiting to be electrified, was the actual stock fence on the boundary of our property and the field. This should be set within the field, away from the boundary fence. As I said, my then 5 year old son and his friends played in the back garden and, as you'd expect, the horses used to come over to them, and the boys to them. While I understand the voltage is minimal, if it's enough to make a horse move away, I was not going to take the chance with my child.

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