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Jobsworth council bosses have banned a beer-loving pony mayor from his local pub.
Miniature Shetland Patrick is often seen knocking back pints of his favourite Guinness at The Drum Inn and is so beloved by locals he was made Mayor of Cockington, in Devon, last week.
But planning enforcement officers have told the pub they need planning permission for Patrick to be allowed to graze in the pub garden. Patrick’s owners Kirk and Hannah Petrakis said they were “shocked and upset” by the move – which they fear will leave the horse traumatised – and have already removed the fencing from the pony’s “interaction pen” at the boozer.
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Hannah, 37, said: “It’s been really traumatic. We’re just shocked by it. We don’t want to go through planning because it costs money and it is likely to be refused. It’s really sad. We’re all very upset about it.”
A petition has already been started to ask the council to allow the pony back on the boozer’s lawn.
Kirk, 44, added: “We have been very upset the past two days but I’ve been overwhelmed by messages of support.”
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Furious locals branded the council’s decision as “disgusting” and “selfish”.
Away from his mayoral “duties” Patrick works as a therapy pony visiting recovery groups, hospitals and mental health wards. Patrick moved away from the area due to a lack of winter grazing but regularly travels back to Cockington with his owners.
He was spotted downing his favourite Guinness after his historic nomination.
Local woman Ingrid Marsh said: “I am more than disgusted. He is a beautiful and gentle soul; far superior to anybody trying to remove him.”
A Torbay Council spokesperson said: “We can confirm that following a complaint from a member of the public, an enforcement case has been opened into the erection of unauthorised timber fencing and the display of advertisements within the beer garden of the Drum Inn, Cockington.
“This is in a designated conservation area and is next to a listed building, and we need to ensure historic areas like this are protected from unauthorised development.
“The council has not received or approved any planning applications for the fencing or the change of use for horses. Officers have now raised concerns over the suitability of these unauthorised works, the potential change of use of land and the impact this has on the conservation area and nearby listed building.
“We have written to the landlord of the public house advising that the works are considered a breach of planning legislation. We are now encouraging them to engage with the planning department to find a more acceptable solution, to either remove the works or to submit a retrospective planning application.”
The Daily Star has contact the Drum Inn landlord for comment.
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