For further information about Environmental Health Licencing, please contact:
Tel: 01276 707330
Email: Environmental Health
Surrey Heath House,
Surrey GU15 3HD
Opens in a new windowDo I need a licence?
To run a zoo in England, Scotland and Wales, you need a licence from the local authority.
The licence is subject to fees, and conditions to ensure the proper conduct of the zoo.
Please read the advice on this page before using the links below. If you have any queries, please contact Environmental Health using the contact details on the right.
How do I give notice of intention and what information / evidence do I need to provide?
At least two months before making an application for a licence, the applicant must give notice to the local authority of their intention to make the application. This can be done online using the link below. The fee you will pay depends on the information you supply in your application. Guidance on how to calculate the fee is given in the form and you will pay it online.
The following supporting documents are required and can be uploaded:
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 the local authority is available to be inspected at the local authority offices.
How do I then apply?
You must first complete the notification (see above) that you intend to apply and also publish a notice in a local newspaper as well as a national paper. Two months after notification you can apply using the link below. The following supporting documents are required and can be uploaded:
What happens next?
We will consider your application, taking account of representations made by, or on behalf of:
We will refuse a licence if:
The Secretary of State, after consulting the local authority, may direct them to attach one or more conditions to a licence.
The local authority 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.
How much is a licence?
Please contact us for details about the licence application fee. The fee will also include veterinary costs linked with the application and inspection.
If I don't hear from you for 56 days can I assume it's been granted ("tacit consent")?
No. It is in the public interest for us to consider your application fully. If you have not heard from us within a reasonable period, please contact us. You can do this online if you applied through the UK Welcomes service or use the contact details at the top right of this page.
If I'm turned down, how do I appeal?
Please contact us in the first instance.
If we refuse your licence application, you can appeal to the local magistrates' court within 28 days of receiving notification of the refusal.
You can also appeal against:
Again, you must appeal within 28 days of receiving written notification of our decision.
How often do I have to renew the licence?
The first licence you apply for will last for four years, while renewals will run for six. You will need to apply to renew your licence at least six months before the existing licence expires.
Please contact us using the details on the top right of this page if you wish to renew a licence.
Are there inspections/assessments?
We will inspect your premises before issuing a licence. If we grant a licence, we will inspect your premises on an annual basis.
How do I tell you about changes of circumstance?
You can tell us about changes of circumstances, such as a change to your business name, insurer, etc, by contacting us using the details on the right of the page.
If the changes are significant, you may need to apply for a new licence. Please contact Surrey Heath Borough Council for further advice.
If you have a complaint about the zoo, we would advise you first to contact the zoo, preferably by letter (with proof of delivery). If that has not worked and you are in the UK, Consumer Direct Opens in a new window will give you advice. If you outside the UK, contact the UK European Consumer Centre Opens in a new window.
If you have specific complaints, such as about noise or pollution, you can also contact Surrey Heath Borough Council on 01276 707330.
Any person who wishes to appeal against a decision to close a zoo may apply to the local Magistrates' court. Appeals must be made within 28 days of the notice of the local authority decision.
Where can I go for further information?