Latest plans for Wolds Wildlife Park, in Horncastle

Sean Tucker MD Evergreen, Design and Project management for Wolds Wildlife park with owners Andrew Riddel and Tracy Walters. Picture: John Aron. EMN-181112-093242001
Sean Tucker MD Evergreen, Design and Project management for Wolds Wildlife park with owners Andrew Riddel and Tracy Walters. Picture: John Aron. EMN-181112-093242001

Designs for a new home for more than 200 animals in Horncastle have seen a massive expansion to the original plans.

Andrew Riddel and his partner Tracy Walters originally applied only for retrospective planning approval for enclosures they had built to house their collection at the Wolds Wildlife Park, off Louth Road.

Here's looking at you: A meerkat poses for the camera. EMN-181112-093510001

Here's looking at you: A meerkat poses for the camera. EMN-181112-093510001

The initial application submitted to ELDC was for three animal enclosures, three shelters and a quarantine unit.

However, following advice, the couple withdrew those plans and have instead outlined their three-year vision for two plots of land either side of Hemingby Lane which will feature a series of 20 enclosures and shelters along with an education centre and a reception building housing a gift shop and cafe.

Documents submitted to East Lindsey District Council say the move will ‘provide a fantastic interactive visitor facility in an edge of town location’.

It says: “The site is located in a sustainable location, and will add significantly to the locality and add to the mix of attractions.

“There will also be significant linked benefits to the local economy with visitors also using services and facilities within the town centre of Horncastle itself.

“The park will also be a highly valuable education resource, with a number of schools expressing an interest in visiting in the future,” it adds.

“The provision of the education centre will enhance their visit, but also serve as a multi-functional space.”

Mr Riddel began collecting wild animals more than five years ago and houses them on 46 acres of land next to his home.

Developers Larkfleet/Allison objected to the original plans due to having a site ready for residential development nearby, however the documents before the council says the new scheme “addresses and respects this, and has been amended”.

It says it takes into contact operation distances and that there would not be any adverse impacts on future occupants.

In July and August of this year, many people showed their support for the original plans, including almost 3,000 people signing an online petition, and an open weekend seeing more than 2,500 people attend on the first day.

• For the full story, see next week’s Horncastle News.