Monday, March 21, 2016

News: Traveller site plan for Rother Valley

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A planning application has been submitted for a traveller site adjacent to Pit House West at Rother Valley in Rotherham - the site of a proposed £37m Gulliver's resort.

Rotherham Council has made the "minded to" decision to enable them to negotiate the completion of the sale of 333 acres of greenbelt land located to the north of Rother Valley Country Park.

Gulliver's, the operators of theme parks in Warrington, Matlock Bath and Milton Keynes has developed a masterplan for the first of their sites in the UK to encompass all their major family entertainment elements in one location with new attractions exclusive to Rotherham.

Now plans have been submitted by a Mr Smith for a 12-pitch traveller site and screening mound with planting on a reclaimed site of vacant grassland at Swallownest between the A57 and railway line, to the north of Pit House West.

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Amended plans were approved back in 2012 for the importation of materials and the formation of a fishing pond and parking area at the former sewage treatment plant land. Planners concluded that the engineering works would have "no materially adverse impact on the openness of the Green Belt and would by way of improved habitats enhance the biodiversity and ecology on site."

With a need identified for more pitches, the borough's local plan included a proposal to use land at a former council depot at Dog Kennels Lane, Kiveton Park for a gypsy and traveller site. It is big enough to hold six to eight pitches.

Working with planning consultants at Smith Jenkins, the Gulliver's Valley masterplan shows that the main entrance would be from the A57 adjacent to the Beighton Link Business Park and Elmwood Farm pub.

The proposals for a year round destination aimed at 2 - 13 year olds include a theme park hub, woodland adventure centre, ecology and education centre, camping, up to 300 lodges, a hotel and holiday village.

Close to the main entrance, the theme park would occupy the north-western corner of the site. The masterplan shows attractions and rides including Gulliver's Castle, a log flume, rapids, pirate ship, mine train, JCB zone and adventure play areas.

Other areas, including hotels, lodges, and a spa are expected to follow, being built in four or five phases over 12 years.

At peak time the development could attract between 21,000 and 25,000 visitors every week.

The heads of terms for the sale, which is subject to securing planning permission, are close to being agreed with Rotherham Council. A decision on the formal approval of sale is scheduled to be made by councillors and commissioners in June.

Images: Google Maps

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