Plans for a major expansion for an “at capacity” rescue centre have been submitted to Great Yarmouth Council.
Equine charity Redwings is hoping to build a welcome centre, stables, rehoming yard, five field shelters and an extension to its donkey shelter at its Caldecott Hall base in Norfolk.
It also plans to renovate an existing hall into a visitor centre, add overnight accommodation, replace the play area, expand the toilets and include parking for 146 vehicles.
“We currently look after 1,500 rescued horses, ponies and donkeys on a daily basis at 11 sites around the UK and we have 500 more living out in loving loan homes across East Anglia,” said chief executive Lynn Cutress.
“We are operating at capacity and that is simply not sustainable.
“One of the key aspects of our planning application is that we are hoping to add a brand-new rehoming centre at Redwings Caldecott, with stabling, schooling areas and an indoor arena.
“This would mean we could rehome more horses and ponies, in turn freeing up vital space at the sanctuary to help more horses and donkeys in need.”
The whole centre would remain open to visitors throughout the development and the charity hopes someone will take on the running of a wedding business at the site, which has an existing wedding licence.
“Who wouldn’t want to get married surrounded by gorgeous horses and donkeys?” said Ms Cutress.
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She added the centre is already a VisitEngland quality assured visitor attraction and has a TripAdvisor certificate of excellence.
“However we never rest on our laurels,” she said.
“We have been on the site for more than 10 years now and so it’s also time that we made some vital improvements for both our horsey residents and visitors to the site.
“For the residents, we hope to add two new stable blocks (for veterinary and rehoming purposes), new woodchip areas providing all-weather turn out for the horses, and an outdoor arena.
“Meanwhile for our visitors we are hoping to renovate the existing Caldecott Hall, which will then form the main visitor centre with a brand-new café and gift shop, as well as a new welcome centre and improved parking facilities.”
This follows plans for a major expansion at another Redwings’ site.
In August 2016, the charity was given the go-ahead — with conditions — to carry out a £1million development of its visitor centre and to build a new welfare and rehoming facility at its Oxhill base in Banbury.
A decision on the Caldecott plans is due by 4 September.
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