New Herefordshire cattery can operate 24/7

A new “boutique cattery” in the Herefordshire countryside no longer needs to be restricted in its opening hours.

The cattery, in Coney Croft, Combes Hill, near Ledbury, originally intended to house 36 cats, was given the green light in 2018 and was completed in April.

The original authorization, updated last year, limited its opening hours to customers from 10 a.m. to noon and 4 p.m. to 6 p.m., and 10 a.m. to noon on Sundays.

Owners Chris and Anna Vaughan then asked for this to be removed, explaining: ‘The nature of the business is such that we are actually ‘open’ to take care of cats 24-7-365.

“Removing the condition on opening hours will allow us to spend more time with the cats and reduce the amount of time customers hang out at the property.”

Instead of sticking to restrictive general opening hours, “we would like to experiment with a discreet appointment system that is beneficial to us, neighbors, customers and cats,” the couple said.

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Herefordshire Council’s planning officer decided that it ‘did not consider that the removal of the condition would lead to a detrimental increase in disturbance and noise… (or harm) the amenity of adjacent properties’.

An earlier change to the permit allowed the use of larger cat pens, to meet new requirements for the government’s five-star cattery rating, the highest of the current three grades, which the council awards locally.

A remaining condition prevents the sale of the cattery separately from the adjacent house.

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