Celia Hammond Animal Trust are delighted to announce this great news
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December 2023: We have been granted planning permission to go ahead with the much needed re-development of the “Friendly Street” warehouse and former shop at the rear of our Lewisham site to construct a much needed two storey cattery building!
- The new cattery will be an indoor cattery with 'walk in style' providing 23 new cattery pens to provide a comfortable stay for cats whilst awaiting new homes.
- The facilities have been designed to be modern, hygienic and easy to keep clean with a built in air extraction system to combat air borne infections.
- A new reception area will mean that we can open seven days a week for potential adopters to come and meet our cats which will help us to increase the number of cats we can rehome in London.
- The building itself is being constructed to meet the latest building standards and will be super insulated to keep cool in Summer and warm in Winter and to keep running costs to a minimum to help make this a future proof building for decades to come.
HISTORY AND MORE INFORMATION:
Opened to the public in 1995 our Lewisham veterinary clinic and rescue centre building currently comprises a Veterinary clinic with the addition of two neighbouring former shops. The buildings are Victorian and being in London space has always been tight. The majority of the indoor cattery accommodation has been in need of an upgrade for some time and we would ideally also then like to improve the veterinary clinic facilities which after 25 years are a little tired and worn but this is a secondary project to the main Friendly Street cattery project.
Our aim is not to increase the overall number of cats that can be accommodated but to house a similar number but in improved facilities. Whilst this project has been desired for a very long time it has now become a necessity if we are to remain at our Lewisham site. Whilst rescue centres in England are not currently covered by licensing regulations it is highly likely that the Government will in the near future adopt the same standards as apply to boarding cattery establishments for rescue centres and these will include minimum standards and sizes for accommodation as detailed in the Defra 2018 guidance for licensing of boarding catteries. Rescue centres in Scotland have required licensing from Sept 1st 2021 and in Wales regulation is due to be implemented.
We considered moving to an alternative site and have looked at the logistics of moving but the cost of doing so is prohibitive and in terms of location the option would be a site towards the perimeter of South East London or into North Kent as other charities have done a secure industrial unit. Such a move would take us further away from the areas that we are already established in and working in and would be a loss to the borough of Lewisham and the community we have worked with for 28 years. It is important that our veterinary services are located within London and remain accessible for the Lewisham community and surrounding areas.
Our Lewisham centre is located on a main bus route and within walking distance of three train stations. We are also located in a densely populated and easily accessible area which helps to promote the adoption of rescued cats in this area.
Our Lewisham centre as it currently is arranged does not have enough space to accommodate replacing existing cattery accommodation with walk in style pens within the existing premises. However the Trust also owns a former shop and single storey warehouse/ workshop at No.1 Friendly Street SE8, this is situated at the
rear of the existing veterinary clinic and rescue centre and is currently used as a maintenance workshop and for storage and our plan has always been to redevelop this to provide cattery accommodation.
In March 2021 we were fortunate to receive a very generous legacy of £170K from a local supporter towards our Lewisham centre. We decided to use this to start our Lewisham Cattery Project. In April 2021 we appointed a local architect to pick up and review the project and carry out a feasibility study into the project and to consider two options – new build and part renovation of No.1 Friendly Street or demolition of No.1 Friendly Street and a complete new build. We were keen to find the most cost effective option. With cost being paramount part renovation and part renovation and rebuilding is the chosen option, this will also minimise disruption to the rest of the centre during construction and to our neighbours.
In October 2023 we were delighted to finally be granted Planning Permission. A design team of engineers is now in the process of finalising the technical drawings before we can proceed to putting the project out to tender in the Spring of 2024.
The cost of the new building is £1,000 000 which we are intending to fund in part from legacy income but do also need to fundraise a significant amount. Provided we have sufficient funding the anticipated start date is June 2024 with a 9-12 months construction time. The pace of progress though will be reliant on having sufficient funding at each stage and we need to successfully raise a significant sum of money during financially challenging times.
REGULAR UPDATES TO FOLLOW FROM JANUARY 2024 on our webpage and social media pages.
See Below for an ariel image of the site and architects plans of the interior layout of the new cattery.
Image above: Ariel view showing the current vet clinic and rescue centre outlined in Green and the Friendly Street new cattery site outlined in Red.