Blue Cross restarts hunt for new site in Suffolk
Blue Cross animal charity today vowed to continue its hunt for a new site in Suffolk after withdrawing its planning application for a new animal welfare centre amid growing costs.
We had submitted plans to transform a site known as The Hollies, in Straight Road, Foxhall, into a centre for sick and homeless pets but we became concerned about rising costs after recent developments.
An important factor that has emerged in the planning process is the discovery of a site of archaeological interest in the vicinity, which adds further complexity to the redevelopment of the site under Blue Cross’s proposals.
Blue Cross chief executive Kim Hamilton says: “It is with much regret that we have decided to withdraw our plans to purchase The Hollies but we remain as committed as ever to finding a new base in Suffolk for animals in need.
“As a charity, we must make sure that we spend our funds wisely and I’m afraid the growing costs and complications that have recently come to light mean this site is no longer a viable investment.”
The original budget to relocate our adoption centre in Felixstowe was estimated to be at least £1.5m, with the Complete the Dream fundraising appeal aiming to raise £1m and the sale of the current site hoped to bring in the remaining £500,000.
As well as the complications of a potential archaeological find, the infrastructure work needed to redevelop The Hollies, which has been disused for ten years, is more significant than first thought.
Along with growing development costs to deliver the desired animal welfare services at this site, the overall budget is now far higher than the original estimate.
As a result, we’ve been forced to reconsider our plans and restart the hunt for a new site.
Blue Cross Felixstowe adoption centre manager Andy Gillon says: “We’ve looked at all the possibilities to make this project work at this site but the harsh reality is that the numbers just don’t add up.
“It’s a huge disappointment but we want Blue Cross to be here for the animals in Suffolk in the long term so it’s essential that this project is financially viable, both now and in the years ahead.”
Despite this setback, we are urging the local community to continue supporting its Complete the Dream fundraising appeal, which has already raised a fantastic £70,000 towards a new centre in Suffolk.
Andrew adds: “The campaign to keep Blue Cross in Suffolk was truly phenomenal and the strength of our supporters has got us where we are today. We’ve raised a fantastic amount already and in the current financial climate it’s more important than ever to keep the focus on fundraising as we restart the hunt for a new site.”
We are now looking for a new site of at least two acres with development potential and good road links. Anyone with any information should contact us on 0300 777 1480 or at 333 High Street, Felixstowe, IP11 9QL.
The current Blue Cross adoption centre in Felixstowe will continue to operate while the search for the new site continues.
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