Rescue centre slam council for delay approving build of animal hospital

An owl in the care of Runham Wildlife Rescue Centre.

An owl in the care of Runham Wildlife Rescue Centre. - Credit: Kelly Wolmer

The managing director of a wildlife rescue centre which is looking to build a new animal hospital has criticised a council for dragging its heels over approving the plans.

Runham Wildlife Rescue is currently operating without electricity and water, as it continues to wait for a decision from Great Yarmouth Borough Council.

A seagull being cared for at Runham Wildlife Rescue Centre.

A seagull being cared for at Runham Wildlife Rescue Centre. - Credit: Kelly Wolmer

The planning application is for the change of use of an agricultural field, on Martham Road in Rollesby, into a wildlife rescue and rehabilitation centre for injured wildlife including the installation of cabins to accommodate injured animals, parking for staff and construction of service roads. 

Kelly Wolmer, 31, managing director, said a decision was meant to be reached in August but they hadn't received a response.  

A hedgehog in the care of Runham Wildlife Rescue Centre.

A hedgehog in the care of Runham Wildlife Rescue Centre. - Credit: Kelly Wolmer

“It’s massively affected us,” she said. “We can’t get grants for funding and we are restricted to small pens and small aviaries because we don’t want to put in concrete bases and build things to then have to move in a months' time.” 

The charity had been operating in Great Yarmouth, but moved to the new site in Rollesby and submitted a planning application around last December. 

A bat in the care of Runham Wildlife Rescue Centre.

A bat in the care of Runham Wildlife Rescue Centre. - Credit: Kelly Wolmer

Ms Wolmer, from Great Yarmouth, said they are currently caring for animals but are unable to operate at full capacity.  

Most Read

She made the move from London to Norfolk four years ago with hopes of alleviating the pressure on other wildlife rescues. 

Following her complaints, a spokesman from Great Yarmouth Borough Council said Ms Wolmer has now been contacted and explained that the time it takes to process applications can vary depending on suggested amendments to help meet planning policy.

Paul High is a volunteer with Runham Wildlife Rescue Centre.

Paul High is a volunteer with Runham Wildlife Rescue Centre. - Credit: Kelly Wolmer

“This is all I have done my whole life,” said Ms Wolmer. “My whole career revolves around this decision. I don’t know what I will do if not. 

“At the end of the day, all we want is a chance to be successful and provide something for the local community. 

Kelly Wolmer is managing director of Runham Wildlife Rescue Centre.

Kelly Wolmer is managing director of Runham Wildlife Rescue Centre. - Credit: Kelly Wolmer

“But it’s not just about animals.  

“Since we have been here, we have done a lot of work with the police and raising awareness about local wildlife 

Animals in the care of Runham Wildlife Rescue Centre.

Animals in the care of Runham Wildlife Rescue Centre. - Credit: Kelly Wolmer

“When plans move forward, we also want to set up an education centre to help people understand the local wildlife and improve the negative outlook on some animals.” 

For more information visit, https://www.runhamwildliferescue.org/

Anthony Blakemore is a volunteer with Runham Wildlife Rescue Centre.

Anthony Blakemore is a volunteer with Runham Wildlife Rescue Centre. - Credit: Kelly Wolmer

Wendy Durham is a volunteer with Runham Wildlife Rescue Centre.

Wendy Durham is a volunteer with Runham Wildlife Rescue Centre. - Credit: Kelly Wolmer