The grinch council who stole Christmas: Santa's Grotto on country estate facing ... trends now

The grinch council who stole Christmas: Santa's Grotto on country estate facing ... trends now
The grinch council who stole Christmas: Santa's Grotto on country estate facing ... trends now

The grinch council who stole Christmas: Santa's Grotto on country estate facing ... trends now

A Christmas Grotto that has charmed families for six years is under threat after the council refused it planning permission on grounds of sustainability.

Santa's Grotto Frome is hosted by a 'Santa Claus' and 'Mrs Claus', as they show children around two Christmas-filled cabins accompanied by their elves.

Since moving to a new site at Critchill Manor Estate in April, the business has been mired in the planning process with Somerset Council.

In July, the council refused it permission due to concerns at lack of the public transport to access the site's rural location, which requires the use of private cars. 

Now, the festive attraction - which was built with a £22,000 loan - is facing potential 'enforcement' action from the local authority.

Craig Gillett, 61, who plays Santa at the Grotto alongside his sister Clare Perry, 59, who acts as Mrs Claus, said: 'It is so frustrating. We try and give back to the community for their support - it's all about giving some fun and joy in people's lives at the moment'

Craig Gillett, 61, who plays Santa at the Grotto alongside his sister Clare Perry, 59, who acts as Mrs Claus, said: 'It is so frustrating. We try and give back to the community for their support - it's all about giving some fun and joy in people's lives at the moment'

Santa's Grotto Frome are not the only community business operating on the space, however, as it is also home to numerous other trades including a cafe and the local Frome Youth football team

Santa's Grotto Frome are not the only community business operating on the space, however, as it is also home to numerous other trades including a cafe and the local Frome Youth football team

Another planning application is due to be decided upon by the council today. If this fails, the business has one more chance through an appeal process - allowing enough time for this year's Grotto to go ahead

Another planning application is due to be decided upon by the council today. If this fails, the business has one more chance through an appeal process - allowing enough time for this year's Grotto to go ahead

Craig Gillett, 61, who plays Santa at the Grotto alongside his sister, who acts as Mrs Claus, said: 'It is so frustrating.

'We try and give back to the community for their support - it's all about giving some fun and joy in people's lives at the moment.

'There is so much bad and sad news on all the time - to have children's innocent faces beaming at you, looking at this character that brings so much happiness.

'To have that taken away by one council officer that has not even seen the site and doesn't even live nearby, is heartbreaking.'

Santa's Grotto Frome consists of Mr Gillett, his sister Clare Perry, 59, as well as Gordon Perry, 57,

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