A CHILDREN’S farm is set to welcome even more visitors after councillors approved expansion plans.
Tweddle Farm, in Blackhall, has been granted planning permission for a series of additions to help it meet the increase in customer demand.
Owners, husband and wife Peter and Denise Wayman, can now build a new car park for up to 146 cars and two coaches and disabled parking area.
An improved vehicle access and new feature entrance wall with flag poles have also been given the green light by planning councillors at Durham County Council.
An existing outbuilding has also been given change of use permission for a new replacement admissions area and gift shop.
The plans won approval subject to a number of conditions after a meeting of the council’s Central and East Durham area planning committee.
Mr and Mrs Wayman plan to move the entrance further north to improve visibility for visitors arriving and leaving the site.
The new car park will be moved to the other side of the farm onto land currently used for grazing.
Council papers stated: “These current proposals being put forward by the owners are part of an on-going programme of improvements to the attraction that will further underpin the future economic viability of the attraction that supports the local economy and jobs.
“The proposals put forward do not present any evident adverse impacts and offer improvements that will benefit visitors, local residents and motorists using Fillpoke Lane.
“The additional and improved facilities would not result in any significant impacts on either the surrounding countryside or nearby occupiers which should result in the refusal of planning permission.”
Tweddle Farm’s existing entry and exit points are to be kept in place and secured with gates so the owner’s parents can access their homes on the site and provide access to emergency services.
Mr and Mrs Wayman have agreed with the County Highway Authority to provide a number of passing places along Fillpoke Lane to help deal with the effects of extra traffic.
Tweddle Farm was initially transformed into a children’s animal farm when planning permission was granted in June 2004.
Mr and Mrs Wayman were not available for comment when the Mail went to press.