Animal lover angers his neighbours by asking permission to keep LIONS in his ...

An animal lover has outraged his neighbours by asking permission to keep two lions in an enclosure in his back garden.    

Reece Oliver, 28, from Strelley,  a village in Nottinghamshire, has owned seven-month-old lion cubs Rocky and Rora since February after he rescued them from a circus in the Czech Republic.

The African lions live in the specialised wild animal enclosure at the rear of the property, along with two-year-old puma, Rogue.

Reece Oliver, 28, from Strelley, a village in Nottinghamshire, has owned seven-month-old lion cubs Rocky and Rora since February after he rescued them from a circus in the Czech Republic. The African lions live in the specialised wild animal enclosure at the rear of the property, along with two-year-old puma, Rogue (pictured together)

Reece Oliver, 28, from Strelley, a village in Nottinghamshire, has owned seven-month-old lion cubs Rocky and Rora since February after he rescued them from a circus in the Czech Republic. The African lions live in the specialised wild animal enclosure at the rear of the property, along with two-year-old puma, Rogue (pictured together)

In March Reece, an animal breeder and exotic wildlife expert,  was contacted by his local council, who told him the development requires planning permission and he must put forward an application asking to keep the animals at his farm.

He says he didn't realise he needed to apply to the council to change the use of the land - a stable-yard area - from an 'equestrian' to a 'mixed equestrian' for the keeping of fully licensed wild cats.  

Reece says if the application is rejected it's 'more than likely' Rocky, Rora and Rogue will be left without a home and put down.

He said: 'They are like my own kids. I've had them since they were babies and I have brought them up. I wouldn't want to give them up for the world.

In March Reece (pictured with his girlfriend Annie Hughes, 22) was contacted by his local council, who told him the development requires planning permission and he must put forward an application asking to keep the animals at his farm

In March Reece (pictured with his girlfriend Annie Hughes, 22) was contacted by his local council, who told him the development requires planning permission and he must put forward an application asking to keep the animals at his farm

'It's more than likely they will be put down if it's turned down. It would be devastating.

'It would be terrible - crushing - if I don't get the permission.

'It would be like someone taking my children away from me.'

Reece added if councillors reject his application he will look to challenge the decision with an appeal.  

The home of Reece, where the big cats are kept in the back garden.  He says he didn't realise he needed to apply to the council to change the use of the land - a stable-yard area - from an 'equestrian' to a 'mixed equestrian' for the keeping of fully licensed wild cats

The home of Reece, where the big cats are kept in the back garden.  He says he didn't realise he needed to apply to the council to change the use of the land - a stable-yard area - from an 'equestrian' to a 'mixed equestrian' for the keeping of fully licensed wild cats

But after 14 objections from locals - some who are worried about noise and the safety of their pets - officers have recommended the planning committee at Broxtowe Borough Council reject the application.

In a report to the planning committee, an officer said: 'The benefits of the proposal are that it will enable the conservation of wild animals, the welfare of which is allegedly at risk should permission not be granted.

'However, it is considered that the size and design of the enclosure represents significant harm to the openness of the Green Belt and is not in keeping with the rural nature of the surrounding area.

'The enclosure is explicitly required for the safe keeping of the wild cats and it is considered that the harm to the Green Belt is not outweighed by the very special circumstances put forward by the applicant.

Reece says if the application is rejected it's 'more than likely' Rocky, Rora and Rogue will be left without a home and put down. He said: 'They are like my own kids. I've had them since they were babies and I have brought them up. I wouldn't want to give them up for the world

Reece says if the application is rejected it's 'more than likely' Rocky, Rora and Rogue will be left without a home and put down. He said: 'They are like my own kids. I've had them since they were babies and I have brought them up. I wouldn't want to give them up for the world

'Furthermore, the Local Planning Authority is not convinced that all other options for the safekeeping of the animals other than at the site in question have been fully explored.'

According to planning documents, wildlife lover Reece rescued the lions as cubs from a circus, is the current owner of them.

The applicant argued the proposal represented 'very special circumstances'.

He asked for permission to change the use of the land to keep fully licensed wild cats.

If the plans are granted, the lions and puma would be kept in an enclosure measuring 380sqm and 3.84m in height, encased with metal mesh to prevent the animals from escaping.

According to planning documents, wildlife lover Reece rescued the lions as cubs from a circus, is the current owner of them. The applicant argued the proposal represented 'very special circumstances'.

According to planning documents, wildlife lover Reece rescued the lions as cubs

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