Pennine Animal Welfare Society continues search for new home after planning application rejected by Oldham Council

Date published: 11 May 2024

Pennine Animal Welfare Society (PAWS), a local animal rescue covering Rochdale which has been operating as a registered charity since 2014, is now seeking a new home following the refusal of two planning applications by Oldham Council.

Trustees believed they had found the perfect location for a permanent home in nearby Delph for the charity following a request from their landlord to vacate a previously rented site near Todmorden.

However, despite amending the first application significantly, seeking reports for ecological impact, sound, drainage, etc, Oldham council still felt the ‘very special circumstances’ criteria was not met by the second application.

PAWS' lack of space situation has been described as 'dire' - they are receiving countless emails and phone calls every day from desperate owners who need to rehome their precious pets.

PAWS is looking for a building to convert to kennels, a cattery, some land (minimum three acres) for an exercise area and potential for a residential static caravan.

Susan Curran, PAWS Founder and Trustee, said “It is incredibly important that we continue to operate this charity to fulfil the needs of the community as they continue to struggle with the cost of living crisis and find themselves having to give up their family pets as they can no longer afford them.

"Our rescue provided a safe haven for cats and dogs, but we have not been able to return to doing this to our full capacity due to the planning difficulties we’ve been experiencing.

"We desperately need somewhere we can either rent on a long-term lease of 10 years or more, or somewhere affordable that we can purchase.

"We have invested a considerable amount of funds (raised by the general public) into the land at Delph and we have to think carefully about our next steps as it looks like we may have to sell it in order to move on.

"We were hoping to stay within the area, but will cast our net from Burnley across to Halifax once more and down to Rochdale. "If anyone knows of a suitable site that it NOT greenbelt, away from residential houses and is situated rurally, please get in touch with us immediately.”

The PAWS trustees are due to have a further meeting with Oldham Council, but it is looking highly unlikely they will come to a satisfactory outcome to suit their needs, and address the council’s ongoing concerns.

Plans are now being made by the trustees to sell the land and find another more suitable location.

If you know of a rurally located business with outbuildings and some land to hire or purchase, please get in touch via:

Pennine Animal Welfare Society (PAWS) was established in 2007 and since then, they’ve rescued and rehomed thousands of animals.

They offer pets, mainly cats and dogs, a second chance to live a happy life with a new family.

If you want to support PAWS you can donate here on their website:

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