1st March 2024

Black Meadows Farm in Leeswood, Mold, is the site of ‘The Reindeer Lodge’, where 31 reindeer are held captive. They are used as props to dress a Christmas attraction that attracts thousands of visitors annually, and they are rented out to festive displays and parades. The farm became the Reindeer Lodge when the owners moved in in 2018, and some structures were built to house the animals soon after - but they were erected without planning permission.

Planning permission is important in cases like this as it is the local authority’s opportunity to assess the needs of the animals and to evaluate the potential local and environmental impact. In this case, the land owners simply went ahead and built the structures and created a visitors’ attraction based on animal exploitation. Now there is a retrospective planning application with Flintshire Council seeking permission for the two buildings for keeping reindeer, as well as “a seasonal change of use of land to allow visitors on site during certain times of year”.

This application must be opposed as, if approved, it will lend a false legitimacy to a business that has been exploiting reindeer for profit for many years. Local residents have already submitted comments on the council’s planning portal, many driven to object to the unreasonable disruption that the attraction causes each year. This week, Freedom for Animals joined them, submitting our comment opposing the retrospective planning application.

We are encouraging our supporters to submit their own comments on this application using our online tool in order to demonstrate to the council that there is strong public opposition to reindeer farms and reindeer businesses in the UK. Sadly, animal welfare is not generally considered as a reason for refusal in planning applications. So, whilst it is still worth highlighting potential animal suffering, comments that focus only or mainly on this aspect may not be considered. Try to include more concerns such as disruption, noise, traffic, pollution, rights of way, and environmental impact. You can use our suggested wording on our form to send your comment.

The deadline to oppose this application is 7th March 2024 - so get your objections in today!