Shaun Ellis' wolf research centre in Combe Martin has its planning application refused
A WOLF centre in Combe Martin may be in danger of being shut down as a retrospective planning application for the site has been refused.
The centre was set up by Shaun Ellis who became well-known following a number of TV appearances including a documentary called The Wolfman which aired on Five in 2007.
The wolf centre was set up in summer 2011 but a planning application was not submitted until April this year and was refused by North Devon Council on October 30.
The application covered the change of use of agricultural land to a wolf research and educational centre together with engineering works, fencing, wolf enclosures and a tipi at Newberry Farm in Combe Martin.
It was refused for three reasons, the first of which is because the site lies within a designed Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty and the development is not thought to preserve or enhance this.
The council also believe the development is likely to cause noise nuisance as it is located in a residential area.
Thirdly it is thought the centre would cause an increase of traffic turning into it where there is inadequate visibility which may cause danger to drivers.
The wolves were re-located from Combe Martin Wildlife park to the wolf centre at Newberry Farm which is used primarily for research and educational purposes and is not open to the general public.
Berrynarbor Parish Council recommended refusal of the application and Combe Martin Parish Council also raised a number of concerns.
These included that the site is located within 20 metres of the Furze stream and there may be a risk of pollution from the wolves which would undermine Combe Martin's efforts to improve water quality in the area.
The council also raised concern over the issue of possible noise pollution from the wolves howling as well as the access on to the site for both vehicles and pedestrians.
Newberry Farm is primarily a camping and caravan park but there is a field at the southerly end of the complex which is where the wolf centre is located.
Combe Martin Wildlife Park stated that the enclosures previously used to house the wolves have been earmarked for an alternative use, meaning it would be difficult for them to return to the park if an appeal against the decision was also unsuccessful.