Wildlife park approval expected next week

Polar Bears at Yorkshire Wildlife Park

A MAJOR expansion of one of Yorkshire’s biggest tourist attractions is recommended for approval when plans go before councillors next week.

A 150-acre expansion of Yorkshire Wildlife Park would create more than 300 jobs and give a £50m boost to the local economy.

The plans would see improved facilities and increase the number of species cared for at the Doncaster Park.

Plans for the first stage of the project feature a new entrance and car park on land adjacent to the current site, and further applications to follow will include new animal reserves, lakes and landscaping and a visitor hub at the new entrance, along with restaurants and a destination hotel.

Just under a third of the new area will be dedicated to animals, while more than 50 per cent will be landscaping and woodlands. The work, if approved, would take two years to complete.

Doncaster Council’s planning committee will vote on the proposals next Tuesday. The scheme is recommended for approval in a report prepared for the meeting.

The council has received 108 objections to the plans, including concerns over traffic and highway safety. It has also received 463 signatures in support.

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.”

Yorkshire Wildlife Park opened in 2009 and is currently home to 400 animals from 80 different species - including England’s only polar bears.

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