Wild Ken Hill expansion set for go-ahead despite traffic fears
A new visitor centre, shops and glamping site with 10 yurts looks set to get the go-ahead at the Norfolk farm which hosted BBC's Springwatch, Autumnwatch and Winterwatch despite objections.
Rewilding project Wild Ken Hill applied to convert existing farm buildings to create the centre, cafe, retail space and an indoor play building.
Its plan for the site, between Heacham and Snettisham, includes a campsite, new bike tracks and parking.
In a separate application, it is also seeking planning permission for a campsite with 20 caravan pitches and 40 tent pitches off Lamsey Lane at Heacham.
Parish councils in both villages have objected to both schemes because of the extra traffic they would bring to the A149 coast road.
But West Norfolk council's planning committee has been recommended to approve both when it meets on Monday, April 3.
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Wild Ken Hill said in a planning statement: "Hopefully everyone at the council will be aware of the pioneering Wild Ken Hill project which began in 2019 and includes a nationally unique mix of regenerative farming, rewilding, and traditional conservation practices.
"We have embarked on these changes as we believe land must be used to benefit wildlife, climate, and people.
"Many will have seen Wild Ken Hill featured on the BBC’s the Watches.
"Reaching millions of viewers has accelerated our work to inspire the general public and engage policymakers with this important message."
It says it is "extremely constrained by a lack of facilities", adding: "In order to fulfil our vision of fighting climate change and restoring biodiversity across the UK, Wild Ken Hill needs the ability to welcome more visitors for higher quality, longer stays."
Reports to councillors say the proposals would create 23 jobs and boost green tourism.
But Snettisham Parish Council says: "The increase in traffic brought by the development would cause significant problems on already overburdened local infrastructure."
Heacham Parish Council adds: "The current road structure does not support a scheme as presented here."