Stagecoach millionaires Ann Gloag erected a fence on access land at her Perthshire castle despite knowing about Scotland’s right-to-roam law, a court heard.
Perth and Kinross Council access officer David Stubbs told Perth Sheriff Michael Fletcher that a member of the public raised concerns at the erection of the fence in 2005. The hearing is taking place to determine Mrs Gloag’s bid to have her land exempted from the access provisions of the Land Reform (Scotland) Act 2003.
Mr Stubbs told the court that his opinion was that part of the fenced-off land, at Kinfauns Castle near Perth, was access land. Initially, he assumed that Mrs Gloag was unaware that the law had changed. But, he said: “In discussion with [Ann Gloag’s solicitor] Peter Watson, it was clear he was aware of the access code.
“That was my recollection. My view was that some of the land within the planned fence was access land.”
He had tried to resolve the dispute informally. Mrs Gloag claims her security and that of her family will be endangered if the public is allowed to walk on the land. The Ramblers’ Association in Scotland is backing Perth and Kinross Council’s contest of the action brought by Mrs Gloag.