Homes threat to RSPCA rescue centre

FEARS have been voiced about the future of Suffolk's RSPCA rescue centre after proposals were put forward to build 550 homes opposite it.

Russell Claydon

FEARS have been voiced about the future of Suffolk's RSPCA rescue centre after proposals were put forward to build 550 homes opposite it.

Animal charity workers are concerned if the development goes ahead in Martlesham the noise coming from the kennels would provoke a catalogue of complaints which would put its future in the balance.

The Martlesham Animal Rescue Centre is currently the only RSPCA kennels in Suffolk and has occupied the site in Mill Lane since 1977.

But it is feared the shelter, which takes in a vast array of animals, may be forced to close down if land south of Three Stiles Lane is earmarked for hundreds of homes.

Suffolk Coastal District Council is currently in a period of consultation over its Local Development Framework, which will map out future building developments in the area.

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One suggestion has come from property consultants Bidwells, on behalf of three landowners, to develop up to 550 homes on the current farmland adjacent to Felixstowe Road.

Mary Taylor, the secretary of the Suffolk east and Ipswich branch of the RSPCA, said: “We are extremely worried because looking at the plans the houses are very, very close to the centre.

“We already have problems with noise complaints and we have to be very careful with the existing neighbours and these houses look to be closer.

“It could lead to us having to close the kennels and the centre - it is very, very worrying.”

Last year the centre gave new homes to 594 animals, including 96 dogs and is run entirely on donations from the public.

Mrs Taylor added: “We have to fight these proposals as it is unlikely we will be able to find another site that is remote enough for us not to have noise problems but accessible enough for the public to get to.

“The centre is also a focus for our fundraising activities. It could be disastrous.”

Kieron Adams, the centre manager, said the centre did a lot of good work in the community and was presently the only place in the county for many animals to be taken whilst new owners were sought.

A spokesperson for Suffolk Coastal District Council said: “No planning application has been received for the site on Three Stiles Lane in Martlesham but it is included in a 'wish list' of every suggestion put forward by landowners, developers and members of the public which we are currently asking people for their views about.”

Comments on the proposals need to be received before February 20. They can be made online at:, by fax: 01394 385100, or by post: LDF Site Specific Issues & Options Consultation, Planning Services, Council Offices, Melton Hill, Woodbridge, Suffolk IP12 1AU.

A number of local drop-in sessions have also been organised for residents to discuss the plans put forward.