As Shaun Ellis’ planning application for his Wolf Centre in Combe Martin is withdrawn, he says it is time to relocate and start again.

‘WOLF MAN’ Shaun Ellis and his pack look set to give up on North Devon and move elsewhere.

He was speaking to the North Devon Gazette following the withdrawal of the planning application for his Wolf Centre at Newberry Farm in Combe Martin.

Mr Ellis set up the centre in 2011, but following complaints from a neighbour, North Devon Council decided it needed planning permission.

A site visit to consider his retrospective application for a ‘wolf research, education and conservation centre’ for his seven timber wolves was due to take place tomorrow (Thursday) and the recommendation was for refusal.

Mr Ellis said he and his partner Kim Jennings had decided ‘enough is enough’:

“The council has given every indication that it’s not going to go through and so we have decided to pull the plug on it,” he said.

“I don’t think they are going to go for it anywhere in North Devon, so the best idea for us is to relocate and start again somewhere else.

“The council hasn’t given us any time limit yet, so hopefully they’ll allow us a sensible amount of time to relocate and put less stress on the animals.”

The application has received 21 letters of support and 11 of objection, with the objectors complaining about the noise of the wolves howling, as well as expressing safety and traffic concerns.

Support included a 9,000 signature petition, signed by people from across the world.

“I think I can safely say a large percentage of people in Combe Martin and North Devon support what we do,” added Mr Ellis.

“I have been here almost 15 years and it is just sad we’ve got to pack up our lifestyle, livelihood and family, as well as leave all the people we have come to know.

“I think people should think seriously before making a complaint because it ends like this, with people losing their livelihoods and affects all the people around them.

“Kim and I would like to say a public ‘thank you’ to everyone who has supported us from the word go and to all those we will be sorry to leave, we wish you all the best for the future.”

He said he didn’t know yet where they might move to and that moving seven wolves, some now approaching 12 years of age, was not easy on the animals.

But he said putting the wolves down would be ‘an absolute last resort’, although the failure of the application had now put their lives under threat.