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SPCA looking to expand

Animal welfare group the SPCA has been given planning approval for its proposal to extend the facility in Paget.

The Planning board agreed that the Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (SPCA) should be allowed to remove part of its existing shelter, and replace it with a new, two storey structure. The lower floor of the new building will comprise a medical room, isolation room to separate incoming sick animals, volunteer staff room, office for the inspector and disabled bathroom.

The top floor will cater for a large meeting room, educational classroom and storage area, with the whole building taking on the role of a corporate office for the charity on Valley Road.

Alterations to the outside of the shelter will also take place, including a new retaining wall, new storage shed and laundry area, the creation of an outdoor cat run, and a covered, secure area for rabbits and Guinea pigs.

However, the SPCA has also been given permission to put a more direct access drive in to the shelter from Valley Road, to replace the windy road that is currently there.

However, the major development, which is estimated to cost at least $1 million, is only one of three phases planned for the shelter. Planning permission was previously granted for some outside work and tidying up to be done, and that is already in progress.

And another planning application has already been submitted asking for permission to upgrade the basement of the main house into an apartment, and turn the old office building also into an apartment.

The charity is about to begin a major fundraising campaign to help finance the development work.