Celebrations as Hallswood Animal Sanctuary in Stratton Strawless is saved
Archant Norfolk Copyright
The future of an animal sanctuary has been saved after a long-running battle came to an end.
Hallswood Animal Sanctuary in Stratton Strawless, near Horsford, has been battling Broadland District Council for planning permission to expand its facilities since December 2009.
Permission was refused despite Hallswood owner Lyz Hall having cared for sick and injured wildlife on the site for more than 10 years. It looked as if the not-for-profit sanctuary, which cares for at least 450 animals on a normal day but as many as 800 in the busier spring and summer months, would have to close.
Mrs Hall was told by the council that it would help her find other shelters for the animals, or release them into the wild, but she said the plan was impractical.
She then issued a rallying cry for the public to get behind her attempts to save the organisation, receiving backing from other animal sanctuaries, including PACT, in Hingham.
The battle took on added significance for Mrs Hall in September 2010 as well, after her husband, Keith, who set up the sanctuary, passed away aged 63 following a major stroke.
The newly granted planning permission for the sanctuary, in Shorthorn Road, allows Mrs Hall to retain the existing use and structures at the site, as long as the sanctuary continues to be open 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
Mrs Hall said: “It’s brilliant news. My husband put his life and soul into the place and I would like to be able to honour that.
“Obviously, we have got to raise the money first though, to be able to do the rebuilding and improve the facilities to offer better opportunities for our animals.”
Part of that fundraising will be raised through Hallswood’s shop, opposite the Lidl supermarket in Drayton Road, Norwich.
A report penned by council officers ahead of the recent planning decision stated: “From the evidence, it is clear that Mrs Hall, from both her own experience since a child and from Mr Hall passing on his knowledge and skills, has continued to run the sanctuary as he did.”
The latest application was supported by 291 individuals or organisations, including three petitions with 105 signatories, 158 letters of support and six qualified vets.
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