An animal lover has been given permission to keep pet LIONS at his home – despite neighbours objections.
Reece Oliver, 28, rescued cubs Rocky and Rora from a circus in Czech Republic in February and was keeping them in a big cat enclosure – along with his puma Rogue.
But the council said he needed to apply for planning permission to keep them on the land behind his home – and 14 neighbours objected.
Planners recommended the planning committee at Broxtowe Borough Council reject his plans ahead of a meeting last night, in part because it is built on the green belt.
But devastated Reece managed to successfully persuade the council committee the African lions would be put down if he didn’t get permission to keep the enclosure.
Today he won a decision to keep the lions’ home in Strelley, Nottinghamshire, by seven votes to five.
Speaking after the result, to Nottingham Live, he said: “It’s the best feeling in the world, it’s the best result ever.
“It’s aged me though. These last few weeks have been extremely stressful, but I know those animals would have had to have been put down.”.
The cubs have been living in a specialised wild animals enclosure on land behind Mr Oliver’s home since he adopted them from a circus in February.
Previously a stable yard, the 380sqm and 3.84m high encased mesh enclosure is built on land officially registered as “equestrian”.
But when the council found out, he was asked to apply for retrospective planning permission to change the use of the land, to allow for big cats.
Showjumper Reece, who is licenced to keep wild animals, said he didn’t realise he needed to apply to the council for planning permission to keep wild animals on his property.