A landowner is vying to get permission for an 1800 square metre horse paddock, despite the fact he’s already built it. 

Ian Campbell, of Nettlingflat, near Heriot, has applied to Scottish Borders Council’s planning department for retrospective planning permission for the exercise area after realising his mistake. 

His agents, Gateside Design, of Dunfermline, have written to council officers explaining the situation: “My clients have created an outdoor riding arena on land at their property, Kepplegate, to provide a turnout and exercise area for their horses. 

“It is exclusively for the private use of themselves and their family and not be operated as a commercial venture. 

“My clients were not aware that planning permission was required for this. 

“The site was formerly an open field/hard standing used to graze horses and park horse transport vehicles and other machinery. 

“The site has been cut and filled to create the arena. Secure timber fencing has been erected to form an enclosure around the area.”

If the retrospective planning application is refused, Scottish Borders Council can notify the applicant that they must remove the structure. 

If the applicant refuses to co-operate, the local authority can then begin formal legal proceedings to ensure the demolition of unauthorised works. 

A Scottish Borders Council spokesperson said: “Formal enforcement action is a last resort if all other recourse has failed and would be unlikely to be pursued until the outcome of any decision, including any appeal, is known.

“In each instance, the council takes a view on an appropriate timeframe to return the land and property to its previous state, depending on the scale and nature of the works. There is no set timescale.”