11 04/11/2010

Natural Vision

Chester Zoo is delighted at the decision by the Rt Hon Eric Pickles MP, Secretary of State for the Department for Communities and Local Government, to approve its plans for the Natural Vision project.

Chester Zoo is delighted at the decision by the Rt Hon Eric Pickles MP, Secretary of State for the Department for Communities and Local Government, to approve its plans for the Natural Vision project.
Cheshire West and Chester Council approved the plans in September and they were then automatically referred to the Secretary of State.

Mr Pickles has rubber-stamped the council’s decision – a move welcomed by the zoo.

Dr Mark Pilgrim, Chester Zoo’s Director General, said: “We are delighted with the Secretary of State’s decision. The announcement is the culmination of many years of hard work and extensive public consultation.

“In light of the decision, the zoo will now take stock of the project as a whole and agree the best way forward from here.

“We would like to thank the organisations, particularly the NWDA, other bodies, individuals and community groups that have supported us this far. We would wish to reassure them and our neighbouring communities that we will continue to work with them as the project unfolds.”

The approval is for a hybrid scheme which includes plans for the Heart of Africa biodome, a hotel and expansion of the main entrance and car park.

The overall masterplan is expected to cost in the region of £225 million and the zoo is currently exploring sponsorship and other funding streams.