Visitors to the East Devon based Donkey Sanctuary will soon be able to get even closer to the gentle creatures as LHC’s plans for a range of new buildings and outdoor space at the main visitor attraction, Slade Farm, and new veterinary hospital at Brookfield Farm, have both been awarded planning consent.
The popular animal charity is located within the East Devon Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty. The new sustainable buildings, including a visitor centre and museum, will use natural materials and a green roof and will be heated using renewable energy from a new biomass district heating system that uses a combination of wood pellets and waste generated by the donkeys.
Wider plans also include the relocation of the current veterinary hospital and research centre to Brookfield Farm, where the designs have been approved for a contemporary and purpose-built hospital and research centre.
Relocating these buildings allows for more space at Slade Farm, providing a better visitor experience and allowing an area for visitors to interact with the donkeys. The facilities will also feature a new glazed entrance gallery, visitor exhibition space, a shop and a 200-seat restaurant and cafe.
Extra visitor parking and coach arrival space at the centre will be developed with eco landscaping to help blend the new facilities within the highly sensitive landscape.