Brentwood’s hopeful Hopefield: ‘Save our sanctuary’ petition submitted
PUBLISHED: 12:00 21 February 2015 | UPDATED: 10:18 23 February 2015
An animal sanctuary has submitted a petition in the hope of securing a bright future for the 400 animals it cares for.
Hopefield Animal Sanctuary in Sawyers Hall Lane, Brentwood, handed more than 200,000 signatures to Brentwood Borough Council this week in the hope of preventing bids to build on the site.
Manager Lianne Angliss said: “We’ve had more than 204,000 people sign the petition – it’s amazing the support we’ve had.
“The people who have signed are not just people from here, it’s people from around the world.”
The petition was launched in response to fears owner Tesco would sell the land to developers.
The sanctuary has asked the authority to reclassify the land as a leisure and recreation area “in order to reduce its value”.
The hope is that Hopefield will then be able to buy the land.
Sanctuary patron and popstar Leona Lewis is among those supporting the bid.
“It’s very important that we save the sanctuary, we have about 400 animals here and without land they’ll lose their homes and there’s nowhere they can go,” said Lianne.
The campaign to protect the sanctuary has already seen Hopefield classified an “asset of community value”.
Council leader Cllr Barry Aspinell said: “I am committed to making sure that the animal sanctuary stays within our community. I will do whatever I can to achieve this by working with the sanctuary and their thousands of supporters.
“There is a real drive and energy to get long term security for Hopefield and its vulnerable residents.”
A Tesco spokesman said: “We had a productive meeting with the team at the sanctuary and look forward to having an ongoing dialogue with them in the coming months.
“We are currently reviewing our options for the land and will be sure to keep the local community and the council updated.”
A decision on the land’s status will be made next month.
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