When relocating the sanctuary from Cambridgeshire to Hertfordshire in the 1990s, FARS owner Carole Webb was forced to give up a four-bedroomed house to move into a mobile home.
That trusty mobile came with her to Wolverton 15 years ago, but it was only anticipated to be a temporary measure while the landlord (Carole is a long-term tenant at Woolly Park Farm) built a new house on the site.
However despite laying the foundations and beginning the work some 10 years ago, frustratingly the landlord has ceased the building construction and he says he is in no financial position to continue, either now or in the future.
Late last year what was already an intolerable situation became even more critical when Stratford-upon-Avon District Council issued a notice on FARS stating the mobile home had to be removed from the site within three months.
The council’s instruction, on the grounds that permission to retain the mobile home had expired, was a bolt from the blue and it caused many sleepless nights. It goes without saying that Carole needs to be on site 24/7, so the loss of the mobile home would have posed a very major threat to the sanctuary’s future.
With help from Planning Aid we managed to head off any immediate problem, and the local council officials were, to be honest, relatively supportive, though they were not willing to impose a completion order on the landlord as they believed the house would not be completed. The council officials could, however, see what wonderful work is being done at FARS.
We were granted a short-term extension to keep the current mobile home but the problem hasn’t gone away, and the council have told us that either a modest log cabin or a replacement mobile home would allow us to apply for a much longer extension and give Carole, and all of us at FARS, both long-term security and some welcome peace of mind. Neither the log cabin nor any new mobile home would need planning permission.
In truth Carole’s current rickety abode, which also acts as an animal hospital, a rehabilitation unit for injured pigeons, a storage facility and makeshift office, has seen far better days. It has few creature comforts and is overcrowded, cold and damp. It is hardly ideal or indeed appropriate accommodation for a 71-year-old and her two rescue dogs. She deserves so much more and helping Carole in this hour of need will in turn help all the animals at FARS too.
There are other benefits to updating and improving the accommodation as it would also allow us to host volunteers at Woolly Park Farm in the future. At present that is just not possible, though we get many requests from people wanting to help.
We are therefore inviting all our wonderful supporters to purchase a log or logs for the new home at £10 each (or multiples thereof). If we don’t raise enough for a log cabin then we will purchase a new, second-hand mobile home instead and use any residual funds for the care of the 400 plus animals at Woolly Park Farm.
This year’s FARS summer appeal is something different ... but is one of our most important and significant appeals of recent years.
You can purchase a log (or logs) with the help of Sidney Squirrel by clicking on his Paypal button. Your help is truly appreciated - Carole x