Marsden Cat Lovers Ordered To Tear Down £10,000 "Catio"

The large cage, built without planning permission, has been described as "an eyesore".

Cat-lovers Sue and Richard Haworth have been told by planning chiefs to tear down an illegal protective “catio” on the front of their terraced home.

The Haworths, who live in Marsden on the outskirts of Huddersfield, received a formal enforcement notice on August 16 from Kirklees Council.

It says the metal cat cage, designed to prevent the Haworths’ four rescue cats from getting onto nearby roads, was built without planning permission and is unauthorised.

Neighbours branded the cat cage “an eyesore” that created a blindspot for motorists turning a corner on Ottiwells Terrace.

It was also described as “dark and ugly” and “out of character”.

The couple have until September 27 to remove it.

The "catio" on Ottiwells Terrace, Marsden.


The Haworths have vowed to appeal to the planning inspector, and say they have the support of many Marsden folk in their fight.

A petition – dubbed a “purr-tition” by Sue – was signed by nearly 11,000 people worldwide as well as Felix the Huddersfield Station Cat.

And their case was backed by American “cat whisperer” Jackson Galaxy.

Said former police officer Sue, 53: “Half the village have said they they’ll chain themselves to the catio. They’ll wear t-shirts in support. People have said they’ll carry banners to go against the council.

“We were always going to appeal the council’s decision and we have put in Freedom of Information requests for details of who has complained about the catio, and why.

“The enforcement notice means we will have to put the house back to how it was. We can’t afford that.”

The Haworths say that by issuing the enforcement notice the council has reduced the timeframe of their appeal “by at least two weeks”.

The couple built their £10,000 cage to preserve a safe space for their “fur babies”.

They have four cats: a dark tabby named Millie, a light tabby named Freddie, a black-and-white tuxedo named Floyd and Chloe, who they found abandoned as a five-week-old kitten in 2017.

Most of the cats were accepted from Huddersfield Ferals and Strays, a registered charity.

Following two meetings with Kirklees Council Sue’s husband Richard, 51, conceded that he made the 9ft cat cage too big.

Richard added: “We’ve said we are willing to negotiate. We will lower it, paint it a different colour or put shrubbery around it but the council does not seem to want to negotiate.”

A Kirklees Council spokesman said: “The council investigated the matter and found a cat cage had been erected in the front garden of the property, requiring planning permission.

“The owners did apply for planning permission which members of the Huddersfield Sub Planning Committee refused.

“However, the owners do have the right of appeal to the planning inspector against the council’s decision.”

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