RESIDENTS have spoken of their relief after a council seized 10 horses which had been plaguing a housing estate.
For years horses had been left in a field with a low fence next to Dukes Meadow, West of Waterlooville, and would wander off into the warren of streets on the estate and onto the busy Hambledon Road.
Up to a dozen at a time would get loose and be found in people’s garages, gardens, and children’s play areas.
Although they were docile, children would try and sit on them, leading to fears there would be a serious accident.
On at least one occasion a horse was hit by a car when it strayed out into the road, and police were often called to clear them from Hambledon Road.
One resident said the alleyways running between the houses at Dukes Meadow were covered in manure which would be a nightmare for buggies and wheelchairs.
The owner of the horses had ignored warnings from Winchester City Council to remove them to somewhere safe and secure.
The council took action in the early hours of Monday morning and bailiffs GRC removed the horses from land where they were illegally grazing.
A spokesman for Old Park Farm Residents Association, who did not want to be named, said: ‘I am relieved. Everyone loved the horses, as long as they stayed in the field.
‘But there was no security so they simply wandered off.
‘We called police numerous times. I’ve lost count of the number of times we’ve gone belting down after them to stop them getting on to the road and causing an accident.
‘We just want to see them cared for properly.’
Notices have been placed on the site advising the owner he will have to pay full costs, including any veterinary costs, in order to recover them.
He will also have to provide evidence to show that they are his horses and arrange for them to be chipped and passported if he wants them back. This action was taken under The Hampshire Act 1983.
Councillor Jan Warwick, who is in charge of environment and neighbourhoods, said: ‘This action by the environmental health team sends a clear message to irresponsible elements in the region’s equine community that unauthorised and uncontrolled use of open space for the grazing of horses will not be tolerated.’