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THURSDAY, 11th AUGUST, 2011.

Wedding album

Gooseberry shows Readers'ViewsPages21-25 Page 8

Page 33

What’s on... What’s gone...

Pages 18-20

Ravers on Cloud 9

Page 17

Leo’s animal kingdom crumbles

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11/2h

Police take a distraught Mr Deen away during Tuesday’s council operation to flatten his Timbersbrook Project. (“Chronicle” photo. 3224/11).

By Chris Young His face contorted in anguish, Leo Deen is dragged away from his beloved nature reserve which had given pleasure to thousands of children.

He arrived at the Timbersbrook Project on Tuesday morning to find staff from Cheshire East Council rounding up Kune Kune piglets, peacocks and goats and demolishing or removing the site’s wooden buildings, while the animals’pens were driven away on trucks.

Council officers, a local vet and police had arrived at the site, off Pedley Lane, shortly after 6am to begin the demolition and oversee the animals’ welfare. The “Chronicle” had been tipped off at 5am.

The drama unfolded a year after Mr Deen was given six months to close down the illegal operation after he lost a planning appeal.

He has never received permission for the green belt development which has been running for seven years, despite several applications.

But in that time thousands of youngsters enjoyed getting up close to the reserve’s animals. There was no entry free.

Within hours of the demolition people were reacting angrily to Cheshire East’s action and a campaign backed by local entrepreneur Dawn Gibbins has started to find a new location for Mr Deen’s animals.

He was distraught when he arrived at what was left of the Timbersbrook Project shortly after 9am on Tuesday. A letter informing him of the council’s action was due to arrive at his Siddington home at 10am

Mr Deen attempted to enter the site via an adjoining field despite a blockade, but was stopped by police.

With his legs restrained as he was being dragged to a police car Mr Deen shouted: “This is my field, nobody told me about this.”

Mr Deen, (47), was arrested and later charged with obstructing a police officer and dangerous driving.

He appeared before South Cheshire Magistrates sitting in Crewe yesterday (Wednesday).

The council said it took no pleasure in shutting down the popular

Timbersbrook Project.

Coun Rachel Bailey, Cheshire East Cabinet member for safer and • —Turn to page 30. stronger communities, was at the scene for much of the day.

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