A popular family attraction near York is seeking confirmation that it is operating legally – 11 years after opening.
Piglets Adventure Farm is seeking a certificate of lawfulness for ‘use of land as farm adventure park’ from City of York Council.
Many thousands of people have enjoyed a day out at Piglets, five miles north of York at Towthorpe, since it opened in 2011.
Piglets’ owner Geoffrey Sykes says in a planning statement that the farm, on Towthorpe Moor Lane, was used for agricultural purposes until 2001 when planning permission was granted for the erection of a farm shop and rural education centre.
Permission to extend the building was granted in 2004. “We are not aware of any other planning history that might conflict with the status of the use of the site,” planning documents state.
“In 2011 the family took the decision to open a farm attraction, which would be a mixture of farm animals, education, and adventure play (the ‘farm adventure park’),” Mr Sykes states.
“The laying out of the site started in February 2011, and included the infrastructure (such as pathways, animal barn, stock fenced paddocks, toilets, F&B outlets and car park) as well as several items of play equipment and play areas.
“These were opened to the public as Piglets Adventure Farm in the summer of 2011, with the opening day being 29 July 2011. Since that period the site has continued to be used for this purpose.”
Piglets is now seeking a ‘Certificate of Lawfulness of Existing Use or Development’.
According to Holmes & Hills solicitors: “Where a person has been using a parcel of land, or developed on a parcel of land, which breaches a condition or limitation of planning permission, or has been done without permission, a person may be able to apply for a certificate of lawfulness where the relevant time period has passed.”
The relevant time period in this case is ten years.
The planning application states: “The use of the site as a farm adventure park technically became lawful in 2021 through the passage of time, ie 10 years after its initial use for this purposes.
“Since 2021, the site has operated for this same purpose, and it has not been used for any other purpose.
“As such, we trust that the Council will be able to issue CLEUD, to confirm the use of the land as a farm adventure park.”
You can see the full application here.