“I think we would be barking mad to approve it!”
Councillor Jim Ryan raised a titter at a borough council planning meeting last week, where members narrowly voted to allow Birmingham Dogs’ Home to relocate to green belt land in Catherine-de-Barnes.
Although the Bickenhill councillor may have thought the decision was a bit ‘ruff’, some of his fellow committee members said it would be ‘selfish’ if Solihull refused the stray canines a leafier home.
Founded in 1892, the charity currently looks after more than 150 dogs at a site in New Bartholomew Street, Birmingham city centre. It announced earlier this year that it wanted to leave behind its inner-city HQ and move to purpose-built premises adjacent to Woodhouse Farm in Catherine-de-Barnes Lane.
Speaking on behalf of the home, its chairman Richard Temple-Cox CBE, said: “Birmingham Dogs’ Home is second only to Battersea.
“It would be our intention to forge links with Solihull College and with local schools.
“We would also consider a change of name from Birmingham to reflect its new home.”
But Coun Bob Sleigh (Con, Bickenhill) pointed out that the land was ‘highly regarded’ and the application had drawn objections from both Bickenhill and Hampton-in-Arden parish councils.
He added that only three local jobs would be created if the proposal was given the go ahead as staff from Birmingham were expected to transfer.
However Coun John Windmill (Lib Dem, Olton), among those who backed the application, accused some members of NIMBYism.
“So what we are saying is ‘not in Solihull’ which is not a justifiable reason.”