Calls to keep Blue Cross, Northiam land safe from development

Blue Cross Centre Northiam. SUS-150617-131452001
Blue Cross Centre Northiam. SUS-150617-131452001

Parish councillors in Northiam are urging an animal rescue charity to ensure its land is not swallowed up by development.

The land, which was left to the Blue Cross charity by villager Kitty Comport in the 1950s, has not been used for rehoming abandoned and stray horses since 2010.

Northiam parish councillor Jon Streatfeild said villagers were worried the land would be lost to development and wanted the 30-acre site to continue to be used for animal rescue.

He said: “The equine (horse) section at Blue Cross closed in February 2010. There is a crisis with abandoned horses, especially in this area.

“Many horses are being abandoned because they’re not worth much.

“A lot of horses picked up by the police are ending up in the slaughterhouse or being put down humanely.

“The RSPCA launched an appeal earlier this year, saying there was a desperate need for grazing land for abandoned horses.

“I have submitted a report for the parish council to consider looking at all the issues to see if there is any positive way forward so the site at Blue Cross can be used for its original intention.”

Steve Goody, Blue Cross deputy chief executive, said: “We currently have no plans for the redevelopment of the fields at our Northiam centre, which continue to be in regular use.

“Two resident Blue Cross horses are on site and the rest is in use on a daily basis for training and exercising dogs. We also periodically rent out parts of the land on short-term agricultural grazing tenancies or use it for producing hay.

“We are currently focusing on the search for a new site for the rehoming centre, as the current site is sadly outdated and no longer fit for purpose.

“We want to secure a better site where we can help more of the pets that need us. Once this has been found we will consider our options for the future of the site at St Francis Fields.”

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