AN owner of an animal attraction said she was “delighted” to win permission to expand the facility after a four-year planning battle.

Co-director of The Predator Experience, Dee Ashman, has revealed plans to develop the animal facility at Ayside near Grange have been accepted

Plans to develop the enclosure had previously been rejected by the Lake District National Park Authority in November 2016.

It was felt by committee members the proposed building was inappropriate in scale and design and could not be supported.

Another application was made in September 2017, although this was subsequently withdrawn.

The company appealed and now a planning inspector has granted approval.

It is hoped the plans would bring £1.1million annually to the local economy.

“We’re obviously really happy with the news,” said Mrs Ashman.

“This is the result we’ve wanted for years so we’re thrilled with the news.

“It’s been a long road, which many people have supported and even become involved in, and we would like to take this opportunity to thank each and every person for their support.”

The new facility will include an interactive educational indoor animal viewing rooms into enclosures, conference and meeting facilities, a specialist animal hospital, a reception waiting area with souvenir opportunities, toilets, office space, eating areas, 24 hour staff facilities, animal housing and equipment storage.

The proposed expansion also plans to help create new employment opportunities for the local area.

On a social media post, The Predator Experience team expressed their delight at the result.

“We are incredibly excited and very happy for the incredible things it will mean for all our animal team, and the benefits for our guests," it said.

“We are very excited for the future, particularly as this is our 10th anniversary year as well, and have great plans to implement going forward.”

More information will be revealed in the coming weeks.