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Yorkshire Wildlife Park, co-owned by Connect Yorkshire EIR Cheryl Williams, is set to have its expansion plans approved next week

Plans for the £50m expansion of Yorkshire Wildlife Park, which could create more than 300 jobs and bring in new animals, are recommended for approval when they go before councillors next week (9 January 2018).

The attraction previously submitted a hybrid application for development of a 150-acre site adjacent to its existing facilities in Doncaster.

The application covers the change of use of the land and detailed planning for a new entrance and car parks. It also includes outline plans for new animal reserves, lakes and landscaping and a visitor support hub at the new entrance, with restaurants and a destination hotel.

It has been estimated that the project could create an additional 300 full equivalent time posts, doubling the overall workforce at the park. A further 1,500 jobs could also be created in the supply chain.

Doncaster Metropolitan Borough Council’s planning committee will vote on the proposals on 9 January 2018. The scheme is recommended for approval in a report prepared for the meeting, subject to the signing of a section 106 agreement.

The report said: “Weighing in favour of the application are benefits associated with the proposal including job creation, economic growth, enhancing an existing tourist attraction and improving ecology and biodiversity.

“Highway congestion and safety were principally the main issue of concern raised by the local community and analysis of the solutions proposed has resulted in Doncaster’s highways teams raising no objections to the proposal subject to suitably worded conditions and subject to the signing of a section 106 agreement.”

The council has received 108 objections to the plans, including concerns over traffic and highway safety. It has also received 36 letters and three petitions with a total of 463 signatures in support.

Yorkshire Wildlife Park is currently home to 400 animals from 80 different species and attracted a record 761,000 visitors in 2016.

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