The future of Happy Pants Ranch animal sanctuary in Sittingbourne is on the line
An animal rescue could be halted if planners work out tomorrow night. (Dec 9)
Swale’s board, already reeling from previous planning scandals, appears poised to turn down a request for a change from farmland to animal sanctuary for the ailing Happy Pants Ranch.
Founder Amey James, 36, moved to the 20 acres of Hawes Wood at Iwade Lane, Bobbing, Sittingbourne in January and submitted the change-of-use request.
Almost a year later, officers recommend the denial during discussion at Swale House on Thursday.
Amey said: “It’s heartbreaking. I was really upset and just burst into tears. It’s just another blow to what we’re trying to do here.
“Since we moved from Stockbury we have invested all of our money to make this place usable. It hadn’t been touched for so long that we had to build roads and trails just to get to the animals.
“I hate to think about what will happen to us and the animals if we are refused. “
She and her partner Phil Greenhalgh, 33, say they don’t have a Plan B because there aren’t any other sites to move to.
She said, “I would lose my house too, because I live on the site of the shrine. The repercussions are enormous. “
The sanctuary is home to 450 animals including 19 pigs, seven dogs, 28 cats, 34 turtles and turtles, a herd of 40 geese and ducks, nearly 100 hens and roosters, nine cows, 15 sheep, 17 goats, two emus, 32 guinea pigs , three snakes, two lizards, six ponies, a peacock and 50 goldfish.
She said, “You are not going to believe the types of animals that people ask us to take in. We are their last-ditch bar. We will not refuse anything that does not have a home. I never want to see a sleeping animal.
Activists sent emails to committee advisers urging them to reverse the recommendation. Amey is also expected to deliver a three-minute speech at the 7 p.m. meeting.
Supporter Roger Harris said: “I and many others have emailed councilors who sit on the planning committee urging them to stand up to the planners and vote to allow the planning request to go on. before. The ranch has been pilloried by planners since day one. “
Amey added, “I’m normally the type to stay positive, but some days it’s very difficult, almost impossible, and today is one of them after finding out that planners recommend the refusal of the candidacy. “
Agents say there will be:
▪️Excessive traffic on the track
▪️Clearing of important and unacceptable habitat
▪️Front fence causing substantial damage to the general character of the rural area
▪️ Temporary structures within the limit of the 15 m old forest
▪️ Increasing disturbance of wildlife in the former woodlot by traffic and additional visitors
▪️ noise pollution for neighboring properties
Amey said: “How many acres of countryside have been demolished to build housing estates in Swale over the past few years? Hundreds ! And we are not destroying the natural habitat, we are preserving it!
“We’ve had so much negativity to deal with from the neighbors and the council since moving here almost a year ago. I don’t know how many bad knocks I and the sanctuary can take.
“But I’m doing my best to be positive and I really hope the charity receives the good news we’ve been waiting for so long, before Christmas.”
The ranch also had an Asbo noise made against it after complaints of loud roosters and a generator. Roosters are now moved to the far end of the site and the generator, which had to be replaced after catching fire, has also been moved to comply with the order.
The ranch was also caught up in Swale’s board blunder when a junior staff member in the planning office dismissed the request as a ‘good shot’ not believing the answer would be posted online. As a result, it had to be formally canceled. The error was ultimately featured on the BBC’s Have I Got News For You TV show on Friday night.
Amey added, “This is exactly how we spent last Christmas wondering where we were going to go. We believe the treatment we have received since moving here has been unfair. You would think that would be a very simple decision. It should be obvious, but it’s a box of worms. “