Farm chiefs plan changes

Peter Wayman
Peter Wayman

BOSSES at a childrens’ animal farm announced plans for an expansion to keep up with an increase in visitor demand.

Tweddle Farm, in Fillpoke Lane, Blackhall, near Hartlepool, has submitted plans to Durham County Council to make a number of improvements.

The owners, husband and wife Peter and Denise Wayman, would like to build a new car park capable of holding 146 cars and two coaches with a surface made from compacted road chippings, as well as a disabled parking area.

And they hope to create improved vehicle access, a new feature entrance wall with flag poles, and to change the use of an existing out-building into a new replacement admissions area and gift shop.

The entrance would be moved further north to improve visibility on entering and leaving the site, and the new car park would be moved to the other side of the farm onto land currently used for grazing.

But the existing entry and exit points are hoped to be kept in place – and secured with gates – so that the owner’s parents can access their homes within the main site, and to provide access to emergency services.

Papers submitted to the council’s planning department read: “The development proposed in this new planning application is primarily intended to improve the existing vehicular access and parking arrangements for visitors to the attraction.

“The developments include moving the existing separate visitor entrance and exit access points further north to improve visibility for visitors entering and exiting the site and other motorists using Fillpoke Lane on the approach to the new single access point for visitors.

“The proposed replacement visitor car park would be moved north beyond the main farm house and former agricultural buildings onto an area otherwise in use as grazing land.”

It goes onto say that the Tweddle Farm owners would also provide a number of passing places on Fillpoke Lane to further reduce the risk of any potential traffic problems.

It added: “It is accepted the location of the business and its success has generated an increase in traffic using Fillpoke Lane.

“To mitigate the possible effect of this increase in traffic volume and taking account of the narrow carriageway width along parts of Fillpoke Lane, the applicant has in agreement with the County Highway Authority constructed a number of passing places at strategic points along Fillpoke Lane.”

The farm was initially transformed into a children’s animal farm when planning permission was granted in June 2004.

The Waymans declined to comment on the plans until a decision is made by councillors on Tuesday next week.