Search

‘This can be a vibrant place again’ - New owner vows to make changes at controversial petting zoo

PUBLISHED: 08:11 15 January 2019 | UPDATED: 11:56 15 January 2019

Oulton Broad Mini Zoo will replace the old Pets Corner at Oulton Broad under the stewardship of Scott Petty. Picture: Neil Didsbury

Oulton Broad Mini Zoo will replace the old Pets Corner at Oulton Broad under the stewardship of Scott Petty. Picture: Neil Didsbury

Archant

The new owner of a controversial petting zoo has pledged to spend £250,000 on improving conditions - six months after campaigners called for wholesale changes.

Scott Petty, who already runs the Leisure Island Fun Park in Canvey Island, has asked for patience from members of the public after purchasing Pets Corner Farm Park in Oulton Broad.

Concerns were raised in July and more than 2,000 people signed an online petition campaigning for improvements, highlighting a lack of “basic cleanliness and housing requirements for the animals”.

In need of a refurbishment. Pets Corner in Oulton Broad has new owners and thay promise to breathe life back into the park. Picture: Neil DidsburyIn need of a refurbishment. Pets Corner in Oulton Broad has new owners and thay promise to breathe life back into the park. Picture: Neil Didsbury

But following an inspection, Waveney District Council said it was satisfied there were no animal welfare issues requiring action.

Having officially taken the reins last week, Mr Petty has started afresh by rebranding the park as Oulton Broad Mini Zoo and emphasised his desire to restore it to its former glory.

The new owners of the old Pets Corner site want to keep all the animals that are currently there and add new breeds to attract visitors. Picture: Neil DidsburyThe new owners of the old Pets Corner site want to keep all the animals that are currently there and add new breeds to attract visitors. Picture: Neil Didsbury

“The opportunity came completely out of the blue,” said Mr Petty, 52. “We came to have a look and decided we simply had to buy into the potential of this place.

“We’ve had a good look around Oulton Broad and it’s a fantastic area for the zoo to be based. This can be a vibrant place again - if we didn’t think that, we wouldn’t be spending the money.

The new Essex owners of the Pets Corner in Oulton Broad want to reinvigorate the animal park. Picture: Neil DidsburyThe new Essex owners of the Pets Corner in Oulton Broad want to reinvigorate the animal park. Picture: Neil Didsbury

“The investment is going to be quite heavy but we don’t mind that because, to be honest, we don’t see this as a gamble.”

Among the new owner’s priorities is to completely revamp the park, as well as introduce a reasonably priced season ticket to attract customers all year round.

Oulton Broad Mini Zoo will replace the old Pets Corner at Oulton Broad under the stewardship of Scott Petty. Picture: Neil DidsburyOulton Broad Mini Zoo will replace the old Pets Corner at Oulton Broad under the stewardship of Scott Petty. Picture: Neil Didsbury

Mr Petty is also keen to split the park into zones, giving the public a better experience and allowing members of staff to enhance their specialist knowledge.

“Splitting the zoo into four zones will allow each staff member to get to know the animals and assess whether there are any problems,” added Mr Petty.

The new Essex owners of what was Pets Corner in Oulton Broad believe in the potential of the site. Picture: Neil DidsburyThe new Essex owners of what was Pets Corner in Oulton Broad believe in the potential of the site. Picture: Neil Didsbury

“The key now is for people to have patience with us. We’ve got a team of staff here all the time at the moment, so I’d really like to open within the next couple of weeks.

We’ve got nothing to hide so I don’t mind people coming in and talking to us, seeing what we’re doing and hearing what our plans are. We’re always open to new ideas.”

The new owner of the old Pets Corner business in Oulton Broad promises to invest heavily to create a zoo the town can be proud of. Picture: Neil DidsburyThe new owner of the old Pets Corner business in Oulton Broad promises to invest heavily to create a zoo the town can be proud of. Picture: Neil Didsbury

Oulton Broad Mini Zoo will replace the old Pets Corner at Oulton Broad under the stewardship of Scott Petty. Picture: Neil DidsburyOulton Broad Mini Zoo will replace the old Pets Corner at Oulton Broad under the stewardship of Scott Petty. Picture: Neil Didsbury

Oulton Broad Mini Zoo will replace the old Pets Corner at Oulton Broad under the stewardship of Scott Petty. Picture: Neil DidsburyOulton Broad Mini Zoo will replace the old Pets Corner at Oulton Broad under the stewardship of Scott Petty. Picture: Neil Didsbury

The new owners want to keep all the animals that are currently there and add new breeds to attract visitors. Picture: Neil DidsburyThe new owners want to keep all the animals that are currently there and add new breeds to attract visitors. Picture: Neil Didsbury

One of the current residents at Pets Corner in Oulton Broad, which has new owners. Picture: Neil DidsburyOne of the current residents at Pets Corner in Oulton Broad, which has new owners. Picture: Neil Didsbury

Most Read

Most Read

Latest from the Lowestoft Journal

Hot Jobs

Show Job Lists