Neighbors fuming over plans to build cattery in back garden

Neighbors have been left smoking by plans to build 10 cat houses in a back garden in Shavington. The retrospective application to construct the structures at an address on Weston Lane was registered with Cheshire East Council towards the end of March.

It proposes to erect ‘timber frame and clad outdoor cat houses with exterior exercise areas’. A statement submitted with the application confirmed the applicants are Maine Coon cat breeders who purchased the property in November.

The cats living there are owned by the applicants, who sell the kittens. But the plans have been slammed by some people living nearby for various reasons including the potential mess and traffic build-up from people picking kittens they have purchased.

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Some neighbors voiced their anger that they had been constructed without permission. One claimed the applicants had been told they needed to submit the plans following a visit from a Cheshire East Council officer.

An example of one of the cat houses

Another Weston Lane resident said: “I find it completely out of hand that the proposal has gone ahead without planning from Cheshire East Council or any thought and consultation with the people that live in close proximity to the proposed development.

“This development, if approved, would destroy the character of this part of Shavington. If this proposal goes ahead it would turn a private dwelling in to a business with all the associated issues.”

Another said: “By all accounts what appears to be under development is a cat breeding cattery, which appears to be solely developed as a commercial venture. The development will lead to vermin and impinge on the quality of life for nearby neighbours. The location is in a village with other properties close by.”

But there have been comments of support from people who have dealt with the applicants before, albeit many not from the local area. Several said the new houses would be critical for the health and wellbeing of the cats.

One person said: “Having known the applicant for some time and had the honor of purchasing two kittens from her, I can only say that the true love and welfare of her cats is paramount.

“The need of an outdoor area for the cats is essential for their health and well-being and the standard of work and facilities will be exceptional as these cats are truly loved and cared for like no others I know. This is in no way a facility that in my opinion to have any detrimental affect on its surrounding area but to allow a family business the right to care for the cats in the best ways possible.”

Another said: “The cattery being large will bring extra welfare and most importantly freedom for the cats and bring happiness to them. It also allows for a much better environment for the cats to get adequate exercise. Additionally, time outdoors can promote mental health as it gives a cat time to explore and keep their mind active.”

A statement submitted with the application by DBD Architectural Consultancy, on behalf of the applicants, reads: “The applicants are Maine Coon cat breeders and purchased the property Weston Lane in November, following a lengthy search for the perfect property. They chose it because it would provide not only a beautiful family home but more so for their cats.

“They wanted to provide their cats with safe secure outdoor access. Maine Coons are a breed that thrives in fresh air and with space to play. They believe in giving their cats the best quality of life possible, hence their wish to erect timber framed cat enclosures in the rear garden of the property.”

It adds that the applicant ‘fully understands’ it is a large project. It also claims the applicant has been ‘open, honest, upfront and considerate’ towards their neighbours.

The statement continues: “The cattery is built to be within permitted development sizing (a total height of 2.2M including maximum 30cm height platform above the adjacent ground level and 190cm buildings), although the Maine Coon cat breed is by nature a quiet breed the applicants have also included design details such as soundproofing, curfews/bedtimes for cats (later mornings at weekends), licensed waste collectors and couriers for cat collections rather than large numbers of visitors.

“If the purchaser of the kitten wanted to pick the kitten up, the cattery only allows this to take place from Monday to Saturday 9am-6pm with no collections on Sundays with consideration to their neighbours. Those who do pick their new kitten up will not visit the cat buildings in the garden.”

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