All clear for new animal experience centre in Stretham

(l-r) owners Mitch and Hazel Price, with Charlie the Royal Boa and Itchy the Meerkat

(l-r) owners Mitch and Hazel Price, with Charlie the Royal Boa and Itchy the Meerkat - Credit: Archant

A business which offers animal experiences and educational visits has been granted planning permission to open new premises in Stretham.

Animal Experiences runs a small reptile house at the Raptor Foundation, in St Ives, but told East Cambridgeshire District Council that it had outgrowing the premises and needed to expand.

As such, it applied for permission to open new accommodation in Cambridge Road, which was formerly used to sell and display garden sheds.

The new unit, run by Hazel and Mitchell Price, will allow for pre-booked visits and educational experiences, but will not be open for drop-in visits from the public.

Agents acting for the applicants said: “The Animal Experience has been operating for 18 years, visiting schools, hospitals, prisons, veterinary colleges, parties and functions and it also provides animals for films and documentaries, including David Attenborough, Eden TV, History Channel and Blue Peter.

“The applicants consider that the way to progress their business is to concentrate animal experiences on an individual appointment-only basis, where the keeper can spend time with individuals, couples or family groups without any distractions from other members of the public.”

District council planning officer, Richard West granted planning permission for a temporary period of three years.