To run a zoo in the Waltham Forest area, you need a licence from the Council under the Zoo Licensing Act 1981.
The licence may be subject to fees, and conditions to ensure the proper conduct of the zoo.
At least two months before making an application for a licence, the applicant must give notice in writing (including by electronic means) to Waltham Forest Council of their intention to make the application. The notice must identify:
- The zoo's location
- The types of animals and approximate number of each group kept for exhibition on the premises and the arrangements for their accommodation, maintenance and wellbeing
- The approximate numbers and categories of staff to be employed in the zoo
- The approximate number of visitors and motor vehicles for which accommodation is to be provided
- The approximate number and position of access to be provided to the premises
- How required conservation measures will be implemented at the zoo
At least two months before making the application, the applicant must also publish notice of that intention in one local newspaper and one national newspaper and exhibit a copy of that notice. The notice must identify the location of the zoo and state that the application notice to us is available to be inspected at our offices.
See summary of the regulation relating to the licence on the Office of Public Sector Information website.
The application process
When considering an application the Council will take into account any representations made by or on behalf of:
- The applicant
- The chief officer of police in the relevant area
- The appropriate authority - this is either the enforcing authority or relevant authority in whose area the zoo will be situated
- The governing body of any national institution concerned with the operation of zoos
- Where part of the zoo is not situated in the area of the local authority with power to grant the licence, a planning authority for the relevant area (other than a county planning authority) or the local planning authority for the area in which it is situated
- Any person alleging that the zoo would affect the health or safety of people living in the neighbourhood
- Anyone stating that the zoo would affect the health or safety of anyone living near it
- Any other person whose representations might show grounds on which the authority has a power or duty to refuse to grant a licence
Before granting or refusing to grant the licence, the Council shall consider any inspectors' reports based on their inspection of the zoo, consult with the applicant about any conditions the inspector proposes should be attached to the licence and make arrangements for an inspection to be carried out. We will provide at least 28 days notice of the inspection.
We will not grant the licence if we feel that the zoo would adversely affect the health or safety of people living in or near it, or seriously affect the preservation of law and order or if we are not satisfied that appropriate conservation measures would be satisfactorily implemented.
An application may also be refused if:
- We are not satisfied that accommodation, staffing or management standards are suitable for the proper care and wellbeing of the animals or for the proper conduct of the zoo
- The applicant, or if the applicant is an incorporated company, the company or any of the company's directors, managers, secretaries or other similar officers, or a keeper in the zoo, has been convicted of any offence involving the ill-treatment of animals
Applications to renew a licence will be considered no later than six months before the expiry of the existing licence, unless a shorter time period is allowed by Waltham Forest Council.
The Secretary of State, after consulting the Council, may direct them to attach one or more conditions to a licence.
Waltham Forest Council may advise the Secretary of State that, because of the small number of animals kept in the zoo or the small number of the kinds of animal kept there, a direction should be made that that a licence is not required.
Will tacit consent apply?
No. It is in the public interest that Waltham Forest Council must process your application before it can be granted. If you have not heard from us within a reasonable time contact us online if you applied through the UK welcome business website or use the contact details below:
Phone 020 8496 3000
The cost of a licence is determined upon application.
If your application failed
Please contact Waltham Forest Council in the first instance.
If the applicant is refused a licence, they may appeal to a magistrates' court within 28 days from the date on which the applicant receives written notification of the refusal.
Licence holder redress
Please contact Waltham Forest Council on 020 8496 3000 and ask for the dog enforcement team in the first instance.
A licence holder may appeal to a Magistrates' court against:
- Any condition attached to a licence or any variation or cancellation of a condition
- The refusal to approve the transfer of a licence
- A zoo closure direction
- Enforcement steps relating to any unmet condition
The appeal must be brought within 28 days from the date on which the licence holder receives written notification of the authority's decision as to the relevant matter
We would always advise that in the event of a complaint the first contact is made with the trader by you - preferably in the form a letter (with proof of delivery). If that has not worked, if you are located in the UK, Directgov gives advice on your consumer rights. From outside the UK contact the UK European Consumer Centre.
Other complaints relating to another aspect of the operation such as noise, pollution or public health contact Waltham Forest Direct on 020 8496 3000 and ask for the dog enforcement team.