PLANS to build eight new luxury lodges overlooking the rhino and giraffe enclosures at West Midland Safari Park have been approved.

These will be the latest addition to the growing collection of safari lodges with eight elephant and cheetah lodges opening in April this year, followed by two red panda cottages in June.

These new plans form part of phase two of the park's four part masterplan following a takeover by Looping Group in 2018.

Currently, the giraffe, rhino housing is outdated and is unsuitable for further use, according to the safari park.

In the design and access statement, it states the giraffe lodges will have a living space on the first floor so guests can view giraffes at eye level.

The rhino lodges will be "identical in scale and appearance to the giraffe lodges but with living accommodation at ground floor and bedrooms at first floor."

The plans were approved at the meeting of Wyre Forest District Council's planning committee on Tuesday (September 21).

Managing Director, Chris Kelly said, "We're thrilled that planning has been granted for the next stage of our development.

This will see new habitats, housing and facilities being built for our giraffe, white rhino and antelope, giving them 24-hour access to both their indoor and outdoor environments.

"Alongside the new animal facilities, we will be installing eight new lodges, four of which will offer spectacular views of the white rhino, with the other half bringing you eye-to-eye with our beautiful giraffe, from the second-storey balconies.

"We're hoping that we have the same guest reaction for the new lodges as we had for our elephant and cheetah lodges and our red panda cottages, which has been outstanding. We look forward to releasing more information on booking and an opening date, later in the year."