Animal Rescue Cumbria submits plans to develop site

An ANIMAL rescue center presented ambitious plans to redesign its current site.

Animal Rescue Cumbria, in Grayrigg, has offered to replace its animal welfare center with overnight staff accommodation, create a new dog exercise barn, extend its kennel and create new access and improved parking.

Animal Rescue Cumbria is a charity which has been rescuing and rehoming cats and dogs since 1972.

The charity currently rescues and rehomes over 300 dogs, cats and kittens each year.

Plans would see most of the existing animal welfare buildings demolished and replaced with a new animal welfare shelter.

The decision to redevelop the site was partly triggered by concerns about the stability of a steep slope caused by a landslide in 2017.

According to Cumbria County planning documents, the highways resolved the 2017 landslide by diverting the river bed below, but that a recent survey in December 2020 suggested that, “although it does not there have been no other landslides, nor any movement inside buildings, the increasing frequency and intensity of severe weather events across the country (due to climate change), raise concerns about the longevity of some of the buildings in their present location”.

The plans therefore orient the new buildings towards the south-west of the site to be as far as possible from the steep slope.

The redevelopment is expected to result in an additional full-time employee and an increase in the number of volunteers from 56 to 80.

The application’s design and access statement stated: “The existing buildings on the site have been developed on an ad hoc basis since 1984 and, due to the uncertainties around the slope, these buildings have suffered from a lack of investment these last years.

“They are therefore no longer fit for purpose and do not meet the latest animal welfare standards and guidelines.

“The charity therefore wants to take this opportunity to build a purpose-built center that exceeds these standards and ultimately improves animal and staff facilities.

“As part of the redevelopment, redundant buildings will be demolished and the resulting space will be developed.

“It is proposed to include two compact buildings on the site.

“The main building will house the kennels and cattery and provide space for operations and staff meetings.

“By combining the site’s multiple smaller buildings into one larger building, the proposals aim to reduce spread across the site and keep operating and maintenance costs to a minimum for the charity, while reducing their environmental impact.”

The charity’s plans have a strong focus on sustainability with high levels of insulation and the inclusion of “renewable technologies such as air to ground heat pumps, heat recovery units and photovoltaic solar panels (PV)”.

The proposals also plan to return all previously built areas to the “return to nature”.

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