ERIC PICKLES will have the final say over plans to expand a beagle farm in East Yorkshire.
A planning inspector in Bristol will hear an appeal by Yorkshire Evergreen for the site in Grimston in Holderness, following its refusal by East Riding councillors last year.
However the appeal has been “recovered” by the Communities Secretary, who rejected plans for a larger facility at B&K Universal in Grimston in 2012.
Jan Creamer, Chief Executive of the National Anti-Vivisection Society, said: “B&K’s plans to profit from breeding dogs for experiments have already been rejected twice by the Council, Yorkshire locals, celebrities and the public. “The NAVS will be urging Eric Pickles to reject these sickening plans once more and we call on B&K to stop wasting time and money trying to push this unwanted facility through.”
Last week questions in the House of Commons revealed that officials in the Department of Business, Innovation and Skills (BIS) and the Home Office provided “general planning advice” to B&K in the last year, at the company’s request.
Following a question by Easington MP Grahame Morris, Universities and Science Minister David Willetts also confirmed that BIS officials met parent company US firm Marshall and “signposted other sources of advice and information.”
Policy director at the British Union for the Abolition of Vivisection Nick Palmer said: “Other departments are intervening to try and make the appeal successful even though they aren’t in any way responsible for planning. It is unusual and we are critical of the fact that it has been done without any publicity - the only reason it came out was because the MP raised it.” The latest plans involve putting up one building in place of four which will be demolished. Developer Yorkshire Evergreen has said the council failed to take into account the fact the latest plans are far smaller in scale and acted against “the professional advice of its planning and conservation officers.”