Threat to Norfolk animal sanctuary
Sam EmanuelAn animal sanctuary which has helped hundreds of sick and injured animals for more than 10 years has been refused retrospective planning permission, meaning it may have to close.Sam Emanuel
An animal sanctuary which has helped hundreds of sick and injured animals for more than 10 years has been refused retrospective planning permission, meaning it may have to close.
Lyz Hall of Hallswood Animal Sanctuary in Stratton Strawless has vowed to fight the decision made by Broadland District Council, and said it is a 'living memory' of her late husband Keith Hall, who had run the sanctuary since the mid 1990s.
The sanctuary had been issued with an eviction notice in 2005 by the council, who claimed it contravened planning laws, but this was overturned by a government inspector, who gave Mr and Mrs Hall three years in which to submit a formal application to the council for permanent permission.
The temporary permission ran out in September 2009, and Broadland District Council said that Mrs Hall was sent a letter on December 8 informing her that the permission was likely to be refused and giving her the opportunity to represent herself, although she said she did not receive it.
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She said: 'I phoned up on December 11 or 12 asking when it was going to committee, and they said there was a big backlog and that it wouldn't be until January. But it went to the committee on the 17th, and I haven't had confirmation it was refused - I've only heard through a friend. We are fuming.
'All of this landed right in the middle of the time I was dealing with Keith's death, which was very hard to deal with. I know he shouldn't have moved onto the patch of land without planning permission, but it has been here since 1996 and done no-one any harm - we have a lot of public support and it is very much loved. I am going to keep appealing and bouncing up and down as long as I may live - it's now my mission.'
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A Broadland District Council spokeswoman said: 'A retrospective planning application was received by the council which was refused under delegated powers on December 17, 2009. This means the application did not go to committee and was determined by planning officers. The majority of planning applications are determined by the district council this way.
'A decision notice and letter was sent to Hallswood Animal Sanctuary on December 17 2009 informing them of the decision. Ms Hall had an opportunity to represent herself following a letter to her on December 8 2009, where she was informed the decision was likely to be a refusal, however she did not respond. We will now enter into discussions with Ms Hall as to what happens now the application has been refused.'
What is your view on the latest situation with Hallswood? Write to Evening News Letters, Prospect House, Rouen Road, Norwich, NR1 1RE.