Wherstead: Blue Cross say need for a new rescue centre for unwanted pets is now ‘urgent’

Blue Cross chief executive Kim Hamilton and Andrew Gillon, manager of the Felixstowe Blue Cross.

Blue Cross chief executive Kim Hamilton and Andrew Gillon, manager of the Felixstowe Blue Cross. - Credit: Archant

An animal charity’s need for a new, modern rescue centre has been branded as urgent – and it will have to cut its services if it cannot move soon.

The Blue Cross has submitted a planning application to Babergh District Council to build a state-of-the-art rehoming centre on land south of the Suffolk Ski Centre, Bourne Hill, Wherstead, on the outskirts of Ipswich.

It will be able to double the pets it helps. In documents submitted to planners, Artisan Planning and Property Services said the layout and design of the charity’s current centre in Walton High Street, Felixstowe, had not changed much since it moved there in 1971, but the requirements for a modern animal welfare centre have changed beyond recognition.

The company said: “The current Felixstowe site fails to meet many, if not all, of the animal welfare requirements when set against Blue Cross’s own internal welfare framework audit.

“The Blue Cross has looked at several options available with which to address the urgent need for modernisation ranging from purchasing part of the adjoining playing field to provide more exercise space – to a modest level of upgrading and new development.

“The latter was refused on planning grounds because of amenity issues arising from its juxtaposition with residential properties.

“The organisation is now reaching a point where it has to reduce activity on the current site as animal welfare is being significantly compromised on a daily basis and the need to move is now urgent.”

If agreed, the Wherstead site would provide a main reception and offices, veterinary suite, kennels, isolation buildings for cats and dogs, and manager’s home. The scheme will come before councillors in the new year.