Telford zoo accused of building 'illegal' structures
A Telford zoo has been accused of illegally putting up five buildings and a dome then submitting incomplete plans.
Exotic Zoo, at Lakeside Plant Centre, Priorslee, applied for retrospective planning permission for the classroom, desert room, learning room, nocturnal house and reception structures and the metal and glass dome, to cover a sensory garden.
St Georges and Priorslee parish councillor Ian Fletcher said the plans lacked information about parking and emergency vehicle access, and only gave measurements for the 25-foot-diameter but not the other buildings.
Members agreed to object to the application on the grounds of insufficient information. All six structures were built throughout 2017 and 2018, and the dome project was helped by a £16,500 grant from the Telford 50 Legacy Fund.
But the Exotic Zoo said it had provided all the information it had been asked to provide and would happily provide more if needed.
Presenting details of the application to his colleagues, Priorslee councillor Roy Williams said: “When I was talking to them, they said that have had detailed discussions with just about every department of Telford & Wrekin Council.
“I can’t believe they’ve let it get this far without anyone saying ‘Hold on; get planning permission’.”
Councillor Fletcher, who also represents the Priorslee ward which includes the zoo’s Woodhouse Lane home, said: “That’s why they’re having to do an application. They’ve illegally built six buildings.”
He added: “If you look at the plans carefully, they are incomplete.
“It tells you of the size of the dome, but not the other buildings.
“None of the building have any drainage. There is nothing to take the water away, it just goes onto the ground.
“Based on information provided, it should be refused.”
Chairman Richard Overton, who represents the St Georges West ward, defended the application.
“The buildings are there, and they are operating as a successful business involving young people,” he said.
Scott Adams, from the Exotic Zoo, said: "We've submitted all the information that has been asked for. If they'd have asked for more we'd have given more."
He said councillors should go to Telford & Wrekin Council's planning department if they have any questions.
The planning application was submitted in August and is under consultation until Monday, October 28.