10th November 2022

You may remember back in June, we brought you news that a mobile zoo named Zoo2U were planning on expanding, and moving, their business to build new enclosures and bring in new animals to hold captive for public display, claiming they have ‘outgrown’ their existing property. 

The zoo, which is positioned on land owned by the dairy farm ‘Bidlea Dairy’, was originally denied planning permission after failing to provide appropriate acoustic assessment reports into how the plans would affect the local communities current noise levels, and sufficient highways information on the proposed number of visitors and how they would access the site.

Zoo2U have now submitted amended plans and details to Cheshire East Council, and they will subsequently decide whether to grant planning permission to this controversial move by the end of November.

The plans detail a number of new areas including a reptile and small mammal floor, meat kitchen floor, kookaburra and small aviary floor, and a larger external aviary. The zoo has previously discussed their hopes of housing red squirrels, pancake tortoises, golden lion tamarins (small primates) and turtle doves in the new establishment. These animals should be roaming and flying free, not trapped in small enclosures and forced to endure being gawped at by the public.


We know that zoos are incredibly stressful, unnatural environments for animals, and do nothing to better the lives of wild individuals through their claims of aiding conservation efforts in the UK and further afield. 

Zoo2U talk regularly about their “conservation efforts to protect UK species who need to be conserved, such as the British hedgehog”, yet the landowner of the dairy farm business they reside on has supported the unnecessary cull of protected species such as badgers. Such acts of cruelty go to prove exactly where their real intention lies with the proposed work - profit.

Shockingly, Zoo2U plans to incorporate native species such as the red squirrel, and keep them in cages for public display. Why are efforts not being made to increase their natural environment, and help them thrive in the wild by rewilding their native land and diminishing countryside, rather than putting money into locking them away? It’s inconceivable; especially as the expansion plans will further reduce the amount of land open to wildlife and eat away at the already shrinking green gaps within Cheshire. They may try to appeal to “sustainability efforts” by noting in the application their intention of planting a small number of wild hedgerows and new trees, but this is nothing more than green washing, as we know the destruction to the land during the building process can never be rectified or restored.

A supporter of the plans, Fiona Bruce MP, focused on the increased employment and education possibilities the zoo would bring as her reasons for pushing the plans ahead. Yet what does seeing animals locked in cages really do for children's learning, but set a scene that animals are there to be used for human entertainment. Witnessing animals who suffer extreme psychological issues as a result of being trapped in unnatural environments such as zoos, should never be accepted as a way for children to interact with these animals.

Environmental catastrophe

The increased traffic and lack of surface water drainage in an area that is already negatively affected by flooding and road closures, has not been addressed since the concerns were raised in the original application. The risk to local waterways as a result of this insufficient drainage remains high and has the potential to destroy the landscape and ecosystem of the surrounding areas. Furthermore, the number of people visiting the zoo once it opens to the public would be catastrophic to the peace of the natural environment and nearby residents, and increase the likelihood of floods occurring.

And let’s not forget there will, of course, be so much wildlife in the area who will depend on the environment to forage and build their homes. This zoo expansion will have a catastrophic effect on their precious lives.

Sadly, even in 2022, animal welfare and protection concerns are not considered during the objection process, with external environmental factors and residential issues the main criteria on which planning decisions are made.

Therefore, when submitting your objections, please focus on the negative impacts the expansion of the zoo would have on the environment, roads, and residential area.

We have the animals at the focus of everything we do at Freedom for Animals. We know the suffering and damage they cause to innocent individuals, and so a new zoo even being a possibility in the 21st Century is unacceptable!

We have submitted an objection for application 22/1435C with Cheshire East Council, and we urge them to reject the planning application for the new zoo at The Orchards Farm Twemlow Lane, Holmes Chapel, CW4. 

The deadline for comments is the 18th November 2022.


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