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Plan for new £1.2m RSPCA rehoming centre

CLAIRE BUTLER: says it is a much needed facility
CLAIRE BUTLER: says it is a much needed facility

AN APPEAL is being launched to help raise funds for an RSPCA animal rehoming centre.

The Canterbury branch of the animal welfare charity has applied for planning permission for the development at Haseden Farm, Island Road, Westbere.

It is buying nearly five acres of land for the project, which will cater for up to 40 cats, 20 dogs and small animals such as rabbits.

The branch has £400,000 of the estimated £1.2m development, helped by the sale of the freehold of its former charity shop in Palace Street, Canterbury.

But it will officially launch the appeal for more funds at a charity Country and Western night at Swalecliffe community centre, on December 2.

Branch secretary Claire Butler, who also runs the Evergreen Cat Sanctuary in Whitstable, said: “At present, any animals in the district which have to be rehomed by the RSPCA, including those taken from owners in cruelty cases, have to go to centres in Godstone or West Malling.

“There is no facility like it in this area and it is much needed.

“We hope the planning application will go through smoothly because there are no close neighbours to the proposed location who would be affected.

“What we are planning is a purpose-built facility, which we will develop in three phases, with the first being the accommodation block.

“Clearly, it is a lot of money, and we are hoping to get some corporate sponsors to back us, as well as individual donations.

“We are not getting any financial support from the RSPCA itself but will operate as a kind of franchise for the charity.

“We have opened three new shops in Herne Bay, Tankerton and Faversham, which we hope will provide a valuable income stream, but we will be encouraging other donations.”

Anyone who wants to support the project, can call Mrs Butler on 01227 772846.

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