Zoo licence applications

Planning requirements

Before applying for a Zoo Licence you need to check whether your premises have the necessary planning permissions to operate the business. Further advice and guidance can be sought from Planning Services e-mail: town.planning@calderdale.gov.uk.

Applying for a licence

If you are applying for a licence for the first time or require any further information contact the Licensing Unit on 01422 393001 or by email at: licensing@calderdale.gov.uk

At least two months prior to placing an application with the authority the potential zoo operator must provide in writing its intention to make an application. A published notice must also be placed in a locally circulating newspaper as well as a national newspaper. A copy of this notice must also be placed at the site for easy viewing and with the local authority for public comment.

Once this period of time has lapsed, an application form can be submitted along with the current fee. The appropriate fee must be paid before the licence is granted.


Licence fees

The appropriate fee must be paid before the licence is granted. For current licence fees see Animal licence fees.

Will tacit authorisation apply?


What happens next

On receipt of an application (whether it is a new application or a renewal) an Officer from the Officer from the Local Authority will contact you within 10 working days.

The local authority may request representations from the police authority, fire service authority, public objections and / or a national institution concerned with the operation of zoos in the UK (i.e. if aquatic zoo go to an aquatic zoo specialist).  Other person(s) whose representations might be relevant can also be consulted.

An inspection is carried out by a Secretary of State appointed inspector who will produce a report of his findings. Based on the report and other considerations the local authority will grant or refuse to grant a licence.  The operator will receive a written statement of the grounds for refusal.

An annual stock list must be provided along with any updated escape precaution procedures.


Periodic inspections, with Secretary of State appointed inspectors, occur as a minimum at renewal stage (i.e. within the six months leading to the expiry date) and in the first year of the original licence and in the third year of the six-year period. The local authority can request a special inspection by an appointed competent person where concerns have arisen. In any calendar year where no other inspection has taken place, an informal inspection is carried out by an appointed person from the local authority.

Last Updated: 05/08/2016