HS2 rail development forces dogs charity to consider £1m move

A third of the land owned by the Border Collie Trust near Rugeley in Staffordshire has been earmarked for HS2

A building on the trust's site
A building on the trust's site

A dogs charity in Staffordshire is being forced to move after a third of its land was earmarked for the forthcoming HS2 rail development, which could cost the organisation more than £1m.

The Border Collie Trust, which is based near Rugeley in Staffordshire, has been told that about a third of its land will be required for a road diversion caused by the new high-speed railway line, which will connect Birmingham and Manchester.

The charity expects to get compensation from HS2, but fears that the proximity of the new road will be distressing for the dogs it cares for and has asked the scheme to buy its entire site.

The land cost about £200,000 when it was bought in 1997 and between £600,000 and £800,000 of building work has been completed at the site since, according to Ben Wilkes, one of the charity’s trustees.

It built a 40-kennel rescue block, a 14-kennel boarding building, a seven-kennel special needs block and an administration office on the site between 1999 and 2006,

Wilkes said the cost of moving could be more than £1m, depending on refurbishment costs for any new property the charity buys.

There are also concerns about the impact the building work could have on the charity’s kennels business, according to Wilkes.

The charity will begin looking for a new property after the completion of compensation talks with HS2, which are yet to begin.

The trust has fundraised £10,000 through the website Give As You Live to finance the talks.

Wilkes said: "It was with a heavy heart that we made the decision to relocate, but the wellbeing of our collies has to come first. We have learnt a lot since setting up the trust in 1996, so we will be making use of all our experiences when we set up afresh.

"We wouldn’t be where we are today without our supporters, so we thank them in advance for their continuing support through the next few years, which will be tough and disruptive for the Border Collie Trust."

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