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Last Updated: Tuesday, 12 June 2007, 19:38 GMT 20:38 UK
Tycoon wins access law exemption
Kinfauns Castle
Ann Gloag erected a fence around the Kinfauns Castle estate
One of Scotland's richest women has won a landmark legal ruling to ban ramblers from entering the grounds of her Perthshire estate.

Stagecoach tycoon, Ann Gloag, had already angered walkers by erecting a fence around Kinfauns Castle estate.

The ruling at Perth Sheriff Court means she is the first private individual in Scotland to exempt her land from right-to-roam legislation.

The Ramblers Association and Perth and Kinross Council fought the action.

The Land Reform Act, which enshrines right-to-roam laws, was one of first flagship policies of the first term of the newly created Scottish Parliament.

Ramblers Association Scotland director Dave Morris was clear that the ruling undermined the intentions of the legislation.

This gives a green light to landowners to go around the countryside erecting fences without planning permission
Dave Morris
Ramblers Association Scotland

He said: "We think the sheriff has not really understood the land reform legislation and we are particularly unhappy that he's apparently not taken much account of the Scottish Outdoor Access Code.

"This gives a green light to landowners to go around the countryside erecting fences without planning permission.

"This is a very serious adverse judgement and may in fact undermine all of the intentions of the land reform legislation."

Mr Morris said that Mrs Gloag was granted retrospective planning permission after erecting a fence around part of her estate.

However, Perth and Kinross Council had said that access rights applied within the fence.

Intentions of parliament

Mrs Gloag then brought the case, at Perth Sheriff Court, amid concerns over security at her estate.

In his judgment, Sheriff Fletcher said that the "nature of the building and its prominence" meant a larger section of surrounding land was required by Mrs Gloag to ensure her family's privacy and enjoyment of the house.

Mr Morris added: "We are going to start talking to the Scottish Executive and see either if there should be modification to the law or whether there should be some new guidance issued to sheriffs throughout Scotland to make sure they more closely follow the intentions of parliament."

In response to the ruling, a spokesman for First Minister Alex Salmond said the executive would be considering it carefully before giving their response.

Those opposed to the judges decision now have 28 days to decide whether to appeal it.

Legal reaction to the sherrif's ruling

Court hears high protection claim
04 Jan 07 |  Tayside and Central
Tycoon 'ignored' access law claim
03 Jan 07 |  Tayside and Central
Tycoon's home security 'is vital'
27 Nov 06 |  Tayside and Central
Long lens photos of tycoon home
30 Oct 06 |  Tayside and Central
Tycoon's 'security risk' claims
23 Oct 06 |  Tayside and Central
Walkers form court fighting fund
17 Aug 06 |  Tayside and Central
Tycoon wins estate fence hearing
30 Jun 06 |  Tayside and Central
Tycoon launches court access bid
02 Jun 06 |  Tayside and Central

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