Fury as Patrick the pony who was made mayor is banned from his pub

Fury as Patrick the Guinness-drinking pony who was made mayor of village is banned from his local pub’s garden by council bosses because it doesn’t have planning permission

  • Patrick the pony had his own grazing pen at The Drum Inn in Cocklington, Devon
  • Torbay Council banned Patrick saying the pub they did not have permission
  • The Pony, which is also mayor of the town, also works as a therapy animal 
  • Torbay’s MP Kevin Foster slammed council bosses calling them a ‘complete joke’ 

Villagers have blasted local council after beer-loving Shetland pony was banned from pub in row over planning permission.

Patrick the pony – who was made Mayor of his hometown last week – is often seen knocking back pints at his local The Drum Inn.

But now planning enforcement officer told the pub in Cocklington, Devon, they need planning permission for Patrick to be allowed to graze in the pub garden.

They say that it needs to be changed from being a pub garden to official grazing land.

The decision has left locals furious, branding the council ‘disgusting’ and ‘selfish’.

Patrick, who works as a therapy pony visiting recovery groups, hospitals and mental health wards, was made Mayor of Cocklington last week.

Patrick the pony and his owner, Kirk Petrakis, used to visit their local pub The Drum Inn regularly

Torbay Council told the pub that they did not have the correct planning permission to allow Patrick to graze in the garden

The pony’s owners, Kirk and Hannah Petrakis, have already removed the fencing from Patrick’s ‘interaction pen’ at the pub. 

Kirk said: ‘A very emotional afternoon having to take down Patrick’s interaction pen in The Drum Inn garden.

‘The Drum Inn was very upset. Someone made a complaint to the council.

‘It just feels very unfair.

‘It was a very sad day yesterday, but myself Patrick and Hannah will continue to support our lovely friends and will not be defeated by powers that be.’

Patrick, who has recently moved away due to a lack of suitable winter grazing, regularly travels back to Cocklinton with his owners Kirk and Hannah.

He was spotted downing his favourite Guinness after his historic nomination.

Patrick Cain, who lives nearby in Torquay, has already created a petition to make the council allow the pony back on the boozer’s lawn.

He said: ‘We want this decision changed. We want them to allow Patrick to graze in the pub garden where the public can delight in watching him enjoy the grass.

‘Torbay Council need to stop being so petty and allow a little joy into the lives of residents and visitors alike!’

Patrick was given the special title at a ceremony last Saturday (23 July) after hundreds backed an online campaign to elect him to the post after the death of previous mayor Don Mills.

 Outraged residents have started a petition to allow the pony back into the pub

Patrick the pony also works as a therapy animal, and was elected Mayor of Cocklington, Devon, last week

Caroline Shapter added: ‘Good heavens what is wrong with Torbay Council?

‘No compassion for animals or people that help others.

‘I am more than disgusted.’

Joannie Dunn, from Torquay, raged: ‘How much has he bought to Torbay for tourists – disgusting!’

Ingrid Marsh added: ‘I was absolutely horrified to read what had happened. Cockington is sadly diminished.

‘He is a beautiful and gentle soul. Far superior to anybody trying to remove him. Cockington should be demanding he stays – he has a global reach now.’

Terminally ill Jon (centre), 14, who has a form of childhood dementia, wanted to get out of his wheelchair to be near Patrick the pony

Julie Anne Swinford, from Wiltshire, added: ‘There are some selfish, petty people about who need to get a life.

‘What possible harm is this doing to anyone? What a world we live in!’

Mother Lorraine Tarrant said the decision was a huge blow after Patrick the pony helped out her son, Jon Tarrant-Heckford.

Conservative MP Kevin Foster called Torbay Council a ‘complete joke’ and their decision to ban Patrick ‘unbelievable’

The 14-year-old from Ringwood, Hants, has San Filippo syndrome, a type of childhood dementia with no cure.

Lorraine said the mini horse was a huge help to Jon – and fears the council’s decision to bar him from his local pub will leave his clients worse off.

Lorraine, 56, said: ‘When I saw the news on Facebook I was taking our son in his lift to change him and I cried.

‘I cried because something so lovely can just be destroyed within a few minutes and it wasn’t doing anybody any harm.

‘It was something lovely in a hard world.

‘These moments are precious because they engrave happy times on your heart.

‘It helps the reality that one day Jon is not going to be here.’  

Patrick was anointed mayor at a ceremony last Saturday (23 July) after hundreds backed an online campaign to elect him to the post after the death of previous mayor Don Mills.

Torbay Conservative MP Kevin Foster, 43, slammed the move by Torbay council, saying they were a ‘complete joke’.

He said: ‘Like most people living in the area I am surprised by the hardline attitudes councillors have decided to take about a pony.

‘Obviously all the serious issues in Torbay have been resolved so they can focus their time on a pony pen at a pub. It’s just unbelievable!

‘Perhaps the council are a little bit concerned given their own performance that Patrick is going to give them a run for their money and were worried about competition.

‘For me Patrick’s title of Mayor of Cocklington was a light hearted move to promote the village.

‘Even I did not realise that it would provoke Torbay Council into making itself a complete joke.’

He also revealed that he has struggled to work with them on serious planning enforcement issues.

The council previously banned under 10s rugby teams from using their pitches just behind The Drum Inn due to noise complaints.

Foster, who has been MP for the region since 2015, continued: ‘Words failed me when I heard last night.

‘Things like Patrick going in the pub generate interest in Cocklington who are less likely to visit it for a cream tea.

‘It is a beautiful part of our valley for people to visit.’

A Torbay Council spokesman 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.’

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