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Last Updated: Thursday, 5 July 2007, 18:59 GMT 19:59 UK
Gloag wins land case legal costs
Kinfauns Castle
Mrs Gloag's Kinfauns castle estate is in Perthshire
One of Scotland's richest women has been awarded judicial expenses after winning a landmark court battle.

Last month, Ann Gloag became the first private individual to successfully argue right-to-roam legislation should not apply to her land.

The decision to prevent access around Kinfauns Castle near Perth had been challenged by the Ramblers' Association Scotland and Perth and Kinross Council.

They have now been ordered to pay the Stagecoach founder's legal costs.

The amount is understood to be about 200,000 and was awarded to Mrs Gloag by Sheriff Michael Fletcher, who sits at Perth Sheriff Court, and heard the original case.

Mrs Gloag, who is worth an estimated 395m, plans to donate her expenses to charity.

Her spokesman said the money would be split between Rachel House in Kinross, which is Scotland's first children's hospice and The Princess Royal Trust for Carers (Scotland).

It raises serious concerns over access to justice for local authorities, local communities, outdoor recreation bodies and other charities
Helen Todd
The Ramblers' Association Scotland

Perth and Kinross Council is now deciding whether to appeal against the expenses ruling.

The Ramblers' Association Scotland said it would be taking up the issue of costs with the Scottish Executive.

Helen Todd, access campaign officer, said: "These are the kind of costs one would expect in a case that has gone to the House of Lords, not Perth Sheriff Court in a case which is testing rights of access over just four acres of woodland.

"It raises serious concerns over access to justice for local authorities, local communities, outdoor recreation bodies and other charities."

She said they would investigate whether the executive could provide some kind of protection against excessive costs for right to roam cases.

"This kind of protection already exists in certain public inquiry situations, and in England when parties are acting in the public interest," she added.




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