TECHNOLOGY

The 53-year-old ex-cop, who built a £ 10,000 enclosure for her four cats, may be forced to demolish it


A former policewoman who has built a zoo-style "Big Cat" enclosure for her house cats faces a planning battle as the neighbors demand that it be torn down.

Sue Haworth (53) and husband Richard (51) spent £ 10,000 on the 9-foot cage in their backyard so their four "fur babies" had a safe place to play.

The 13 x 11.5 foot cage is accessible via a hatch and has a number of ramps and frames that allow pets to climb up.

The 13 x 11.5 foot cage for Sue Haworth's cats in Huddersfield, West Yorkshire was built without a building permit

Sue Haworth (53) (pictured) and husband Richard (51) spent £ 10,000 on the 9-foot structure

Sue Haworth (53) (pictured) and husband Richard (51) spent £ 10,000 on the 9-foot structure

Built in her garden so that her four "fur babies" had a safe place to play the 13 foot by 11.5 foot cage, access is possible via a cat flap

Built in her garden so that her four "fur babies" had a safe place to play the 13 foot by 11.5 foot cage, access is possible via a cat flap

But the neighbors called the structure – called "Catio" – an eyesore and complained to the town council.

They claim it is atypical, obstructing access to a narrow alley nearby and creating a blind spot for drivers.

Now officials at the Kirklees Council in West Yorkshire have ordered the couple to apply for a building permit or to remove the cage.

Their application to remain was denied last week and they will now appeal their case.

Sue, a retired Northumbria police officer, claims the cage keeps pets Chloe, Floyd, Freddie, and Millie, who are between 20 and 11 months old, harmless.

The cage has a number of ramps and ropes that you can use to climb up

The cage has a number of ramps and ropes that you can use to climb up

She said: “The cage is meant to be a place where our cats can play safely.

& # 39; It keeps them off the road. And there are a few bully cats in the area that my cats can't defend against.

"We didn't do it cheaply. We paid for the chances of winning our house so that we can do what we did without influencing others.

“We don't want to annoy anyone, we just want to live a quiet life so that our cats are happy. They really love the room, there are lots of things to play with.

“Most of our neighbors think the cage is a great idea, there are only a few who have a problem with it.

"We are ready to work with the Council to find a solution, but they do not want to listen."

The couple have four cats, including three from Huddersfield Feral and Strays, a registered charity, and one that has been abandoned

They say there are "big bullies" in the neighborhood

The couple have four cats, including three from Huddersfield Feral and Strays, a registered charity, and one that has been abandoned. They say there are "big bullies" in the neighborhood

Sue and her husband Richard, an electrician, moved to the row house in Huddersfield two years ago.

They have four cats, including three from Huddersfield Feral and Strays, a registered charity, and one that has been abandoned.

But they say a couple of "big bullies" in the neighborhood prevented them from getting their four rescue cats out of the house and inspired them to build a closed area.

The neighbors are demanding that the large "eyesore" be torn down after it has been built without permission

The neighbors are demanding that the large "eyesore" be torn down after it has been built without permission

A cat in the & # 39; catio & # 39; - The structure was completed in August last year and since then your pets Chloe, Floyd, Freddie and Millie have been enjoying the space

A cat in the & # 39; catio & # 39; – The structure was completed in August last year and since then your pets Chloe, Floyd, Freddie and Millie have been enjoying the space

Before the cage was built, the couple spoke to a number of neighbors and told the council their plans, but according to them, no one ever raised concerns.

The structure was completed in August last year and since then her pets Chloe, Floyd, Freddie and Millie have been enjoying the space.

Sue and Richard, who have no children, were first told that there was a problem in January when a Kirklees Council official knocked on their door.

A room with a view: From the couple's house, you can watch your cats enjoy the space they have built

A room with a view: From the couple's house, you can watch your cats enjoy the space they have built

The woman said some complaints had been filed and the cage had to be dismantled, which prompted the Haworths to file a retroactive planning application that was rejected on July 18.

More than a dozen critics of the cage have spoken out against the application.

One person said, "It can be seen from a distance and is an extremely dark and ugly object."

Another added: "The construction is completely atypical with the entire terrace."

Someone else said, "Both I and my husband see the cat cage as an eyesore and devalue other houses on the terrace."

The Haworths say they are ready to work with the council to find a solution by either scaling it down or painting it in a different color.

Local residents who opposed the cage created a petition that was signed by more than 20 people

Sue and Richard have submitted their own petition to the opposition, which has received more than 6,000 electronic signatures

Local residents who opposed the cage created a petition that was signed by more than 20 people

Local residents who opposed the cage created a petition that was signed by more than 20 people.

Sue and Richard have submitted their own petition to the opposition, which has received more than 6,000 electronic signatures.

A resident on the street said, "I am your neighbor and fully support you. It is not a thorn in the side and was built out of a desire to bring their rescue cats to safety.

"It is responsible ownership of pets."

The owners Sue Haworth and husband Richard applied for a building permit, but were refused

The owners Sue Haworth and husband Richard applied for a building permit, but were refused

A spokesman for the Kirklees Council said, "The council investigated the matter and found that a cat cage had been built in the front yard of the property, which required a building permit.

& # 39; The owners have applied for a building permit that members of the Huddersfield Sub Planning Committee have refused.

"However, the owners have the right to appeal the Council's decision to the planning inspector."

£ 10,000 was spent to build the 9-foot structure in the couple's garden

£ 10,000 was spent to build the 9-foot structure in the couple's garden

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