Bracknell plan for the Longcroft Luxury Cat Hotel
There are plans to build a new cat hotel in Bracknell as cattery numbers have been exhausted during the Covid pandemic.
The Longcroft Luxury Cat Hotel is requesting permission to provide “kennel service” to owners requiring short-term accommodation for their cats.
The proposed semi-detached property is located on Lower Broadmoor Road, a residential area of Crowthorne, and would be able to house up to 16 cats in the eight-bedroom hotel.
Founded in 2010 by Abi Purser, the company now has more than 25 Longcroft hotels in operation across the country.
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It claims to operate differently from large-scale catteries that cater to “a large number […] in small environments”, instead the hotel is designed to accommodate “small numbers […] but offering more space”.
The first opened in the Welwyn Garden City Conservation Area, in 2010. In support of this application, Welwyn Hatfield Borough Council Technical Licensing Officer Simon Curling submitted a recommendation.
“It’s a very small operation with minimal impact on residential amenities, in fact if you walked past the premises you would never know a cat hotel was operating there,” he says.
If plans to convert the residential address to a cattery are approved, guests would be required to arrive by appointment only between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m., which can be serviced by the four on-site parking spaces, tours n not being allowed. Sundays or public holidays.
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The application says that “due to the small scale of the operation” no staff would be needed, but claims the operation would invest £50,000 in the local economy.
The average percentage of UK households owning a cat in 2022 was estimated to be around 28%, according to research by the Pet Food Manufacturers Association (PFMA), up from 18% in 2019.
The 2021 census indicated that the number of households in Bracknell Forest was around 50,000, suggesting that 14,000 households in the borough currently own at least one cat.
Cat ownership increased by more than 4.5 million during the pandemic to around 12 million and, as travel was banned, many catteries closed during this time.
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There are around 2,000 catteries in the country, four of which operate in the Bracknell area and one is “temporarily closed”.
The Pet Industry Federation (PIF), a professional membership association for UK owners, said Longcroft is an “excellent” example of a business in the sector.
Its chief operating officer, Alexandra Baker, said the PIF “supports their plans” to open new catteries and “recognizes the important role they play” for owners looking for accommodation for their felines when they are absent.