Council still hopeful of agreeing new lease with horse sanctuary

Council still hopeful of agreeing new lease with horse sanctuary

by Tom Martin (June 2022)

A LEASE agreement which would secure the long-term future of an animal charity in Thornton can still be reached, say the council.

The Champion reported last week that Shy Lowen  Horse and Pony Sanctuary faced an uncertain future, because they have been unable to agree terms on a new lease with the council.

The charity’s founder Bernadette Langfield said her expansion plans for the sanctuary have been put on hold as a result.

The council has now stated that it is still hopeful of reaching an agreement with Shy Lowen that means it can stay at its current site on Buckley Hill Road.

A council spokesperson said: “In response to Shy Lowen Horse and Pony Sanctuary Trustees’ plans to develop the site and their request for a long-term lease to enable them to do this, Sefton Council sent them a proposed lease agreement back in November 2019.

“This is fully in line with council policy and ensures any developments are carried out to the council’s satisfaction before a long-term lease is issued.

“In August 2020, Shy Lowen Trustees confirmed that they wished to proceed with the Building Agreement and Lease, subject to review.

“However in January 2022, further to this confirmation and upon conclusion of a review, Shy Lowen confirmed to Sefton Council that they were unable to proceed on the basis set out.

“In addition to Shy Lowen rejecting these terms, they also proposed an alternative.

“Sefton Council is now in the process of reviewing this. We recognises the valuable service the sanctuary provides to the local community and beyond and we remain keen to conclude negotiations in a satisfactory and beneficial manner to all involved.”

Bernadette said: “We believe we are an asset to Sefton and our work is recognised internationally.

“The council’s own ‘Vision 2030’ carries objectives to partner with the charity and voluntary sector to deliver excellence for communities it serves. Here is a fantastic opportunity to do exactly that and it costs the council absolutely nothing at all because we carry all the cost and the risk.”

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