Felixstowe: Blue Cross identifies four-acre site for state-of-the-art new centre

Blue Cross fundraisers Tom Crowley and Yvonne Grossmith

Blue Cross fundraisers Tom Crowley and Yvonne Grossmith - Credit: Archant

A leading animal charity has announced proposals to move its much-loved Felixstowe rescue centre to a new, bigger location to care for double the number of pets in need.

Officials at the Blue Cross have been searching for the past three years for a suitable site for a new rehoming centre.

Back in 2010 there was uproar when the charity announced it was closing its premises at Walton High Street, Felixstowe, because they were no longer fit for purpose.

After a huge campaign spearheaded by the Ipswich Star, officials agreed it would stay open until a new state-of-the-art centre could be built, and supporters launched the Complete the Dream appeal to raise £1m towards the project.

Now the Blue Cross is submitting a planning application to Babergh District Council for a new rehoming centre and pet care clinic on disused farmland, known as Clock Fields, opposite the Suffolk Ski and Leisure Park, in Wherstead.

The four-acre site is eight times bigger than the current premises and will enable the charity to help double the number of pets in need currently cared for at Walton, Felixstowe.

A Blue Cross spokeswoman said: “The new centre is an ambitious project for the charity, but an important one, as many pets continue to face an uncertain future and the current Blue Cross site is no longer fit for purpose.

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“Blue Cross has pledged it is committed to staying in the area and will to keep supporters up to date with developments as the planning application progresses, but stresses it is too early to predict an outcome at this stage.

“In the meantime, the Felixstowe rehoming centre is as busy as ever and the team has found happy new homes for over 350 dogs and cats in the last year.”

The new centre will include a better admissions area for a thorough assessment of dogs and cats when they arrive; an isolation area to prevent the spread of disease, like kennel cough or cat flu; puppy and kitten facility for nursing mothers and their litters; and a clinical suite so animals can be treated and neutered on site.

Officials said the new site has access to woodland for exercising dogs, good transport links and and would allow the charity to continue helping animals in Felixstowe and Ipswich but also cover more of Suffolk and parts of Essex.

Tom Crowley, from the fundraising appeal, said: “It’s fantastic news and we are all looking forward to it. There is a lot of hard work ahead but it will be worth it.”

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