Zoo2U have submitted updated plans to try and gain planning permission for a new zoo that has already been refused TWICE by Cheshire East Council. You can read more about their plans to expand the mobile zoo business and lock more animals in cages HERE!

The last time we took collective action to object to this proposal, we won! So now, we need your help to achieve victory again, by ensuring these exploitative plans cannot go ahead.   

We are now calling on our wonderful supporters to send their objections for application 24/1108C to Cheshire East Council by using their online form.

The council will only accept objections for application 24/1108C using the online form, not via email.

The deadline for comments is the 24th April 2024

A draft objection to use in your comment can be found below:

To whom it may concern,

Re: Objection to planning application 24/1108C The Orchards Farm, Twemlow Lane, Holmes Chapel, Crewe, Cheshire, CW4 8DS

I am writing to object to the amended plans recently submitted with relation to Land off Twemlow Lane, Holmes Chapel, CW4 8DS. 

In March 2023 this development was refused, finding the project “unacceptable in principle” due to the encroachment onto the countryside and harm posed to its environment and appearance, and its failure to demonstrate how it would improve the economic, social and environmental conditions of the area.

The existing facilities and hardstanding were constructed unlawfully, as noted by the committee that refused planning in 2023. This has resulted in animals being housed in unacceptable conditions in defiance of planning regulation. It appears that rather than doing the sensible and responsible thing, and de-escalating their animal exhibition business, the zoo remains committed to expanding existing animal housing to create enclosures for non-native species such as meerkats and kookaburra (neither of which are endangered in the wild) at the expense of the biodiversity of the British Countryside - this is unacceptable and serves only to prove that the business is an exploitative commercial enterprise and not, as they claim, a ‘wildlife conservation park’.

We note that ecological mitigation factors have been referenced in the ecological assessment, however, these recommendations are not legally binding, which raises doubts about whether the applicants will in fact implement them. Should they do so, they would nevertheless fail to counteract the threat of ecological harm not only from the fabric of the development but that posed by potential animal escapes. The accidental escape of non-native species at Zoo2u could have severe consequences on UK wildlife.

The site in question is completely unsuitable for buildings of this nature, due to existing flooding concerns and access issues in the area. The lack of drainage mentioned in a previous United Utilities report, as well as concerns over the large amount of surface water that already collects on the land and road outside have still not been addressed. Twemlow Lane being the only access point creates major safety issues when increased visitor numbers attempt to drive to the entrance - a concern already raised by the Head of Strategic Transport. The flooding and drainage issue also has the potential of risking zoonotic disease spread between the exotic animals held captive at the zoo, and the neighbouring cows and native species present around the farm site.

Furthermore, as the site is also within a green space of natural ecological interest, the zoo building works should not be allowed to remain under policy REC 1. The development results in a loss of green open space and therefore goes against this policy.

This application, with all its threat to the countryside and its natural wildlife, should be refused and there is growing precedent to reject applications of this type. Just last month Broxtowe Borough Council refused permission for a new zoo in Trowell due to the demonstrably negative effect it would have had on the local area’s biodiversity. It is simply inexcusable to cede wild British Countryside to businesses who wish to profit from the exhibition of captive animals - such a concept is met with increasing opposition in the modern and progressive society we now share, and we urge Cheshire East Council to seriously consider the both the practical and ethical impacts of allowing a zoo to expand in an area that will be harmed by it, and a society that has no need for it.

Thank you for your attention in this matter.

Kind Regards,