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Pony Dolly set to be evicted from outside flats in Margate Close, Gillingham after Riverside Housing formal warning

By Jenni Horn

A pony has been served with an eviction notice after being kept outside a block of flats in the middle of a housing estate.

Dolly has been in a communal garden in Margate Close, Gillingham, for the last three weeks.

But on Wednesday, the housing association which owns the building issued its owners with a formal warning.

The horse has to be off the land by 5pm tonight
The horse has to be off the land by 5pm tonight

If the pony isn’t moved by 5pm today, Riverside Housing will be taking steps to have her removed.

Riverside said tenants’ lives have been a misery, but owner Aaron Trotter said everyone in the area loves the pony.

He said: “I put her here after the stables where she was kept in Lower Rainham flooded. There was no grass and she lost a lot of weight.

“I thought I would bring her here so the local kids could feed her and fatten her up and have little pony rides. The plan was to have her here for the six weeks summer holidays.

The horse has been served an eviction notice. Picture: @Kent_999s
The horse has been served an eviction notice. Picture: @Kent_999s

"It gives something for kids to do because the council don’t do anything, they love having her here.”

The dad-of-four added: “I do understand why people have got the hump but I’m just doing it for the children.”

Mr Trotter, who has had the 16-month-old Shetland pony since she was a foal, used to live opposite the flats in Forge Lane but now lives in Oldfield Close, Rainham.

He said he moved Dolly to the plot because his cousins live nearby and can give her water and food.

The 26-year-old said: “She is not ill treated. I’m not doing anything wrong. I got her for my kids.

Owner Aaron Trotter with the horse
Owner Aaron Trotter with the horse

"My two-year-old son Mason loves having rides and my two older kids Jayden, who is five, and Deano, who’s seven, like walking her and looking after her.”

A spokesman for Riverside Housing said: “We have given notice of our intention to remove a horse currently tethered on private land on Margate Close, Gillingham, owned by Riverside.

“The garden is used by residents living in the adjacent block of four flats, two of which are on the ground floor.

Aaron Trotter and his son Mason, two, on their horse
Aaron Trotter and his son Mason, two, on their horse

"Since the horse was put illegally in the garden tenants' lives have become a misery, having to endure up to 25 children visiting the horse not to mention the smell of horse muck.”

Nigel Moore, Riverside’s housing officer, added: “As a responsible landlord we are asking the horse owner to remove his animal from the communal garden so that our tenants can once again enjoy their garden and live in peace.”

Riverside has been liaising with Kent Police and the RSPCA over the matter.

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