Residents object to Doncaster ‘theme park’

The entrance to Yorkshire Wildlife Park.
The entrance to Yorkshire Wildlife Park.

Fears have been raised that a Doncaster tourist attraction will be turned into a “theme park” if plans for an entertainment licence get the go-ahead.

Yorkshire Wildlife Park has submitted an application to Doncaster Council for an additional licence to operate as an outdoor event venue and continue its successful ‘safari nights’ but the move has sparked anger amongst neighbouring residents.

The Branton based facility already holds two premises licences, one, granted in 2009, which covers the restaurant and a second, granted last year covers the whole site including all indoor and outdoor areas. This application is for a new premises licence to operate in a specific area of the park for a maximum of 12 events per year, with more than 2,000 attendees.

The proposal has resulted in 32 letters of objection including one from Auckley Parish Council which stated: “The Yorkshire Wildlife Park is a very popular facility for both adults and children to visit, and the conservation work undertaken is extremely valuable. However members of the parish council have concerns regarding a second application for a licence to enable a change of use to operate live music which can have an adverse impact on residents and possibly animals living in the park.”

Dr and Mrs Velasco of Bessacarr wrote to the council in objection saying: “As local residents of Hatchellwood View for 18 years we are struggling to cope already with the increase in traffic, noise, disorder and public safety that the Yorkshire Wildlife Park has already brought to the area, this is currently open to the public during the day and early evening.

“If this were to be extended as proposed from 10am to 10.30pm Monday to Sunday and licence the venue for alcohol and music it would adversely affect public safety, increase crime and disorder, increase public nuisance, increase traffic and pollution, increase noise, adversely affect the animals and local residents subjected to this both mentally and physically affecting their health and well bring and reduce our already declining green belt areas and natural wildlife.”

Lewis Frame, also of Hatchellwood View, added: “The thought of having some ‘theme park’ opposite my house is not acceptable, especially when it intends to be open day and night and licensed. The roads cannot cope with the present levels of traffic so I object to the application on this basis.”

Mark and Nicola Woodward of Letwell Court added: “It is my fundamental right to enjoy my property peacefully. As a resident of the estate that faces directly onto the proposed concert venue I believe that this basic right will be destroyed.”

Four letters have been submitted in support of the application, including one from Mrs Carol Molly who has been a resident of Riding Close for nearly 30 years, who said: “I actively support the YWP (being an annual member) and find that as a pensioner it has provided me, my friends and family with an excellent facility right on our doorstep. Visitors to my house from outside Doncaster have, without exception, been very impressed.”

A spokesman for the Yorkshire Wildlife Park said: “The application is so we can continue with the safari nights which we have been running for the last four years without any problem at all. The space we want to use is further away than it ever was before and we’ve had an acoustic expert in so any noise will be away from the residential area.”