Friday, October 28, 2016

News: Gulliver's submit plans for £37m Rother Valley resort

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Detailed planning applications for the £37m Gulliver's Family Theme Park resort adjacent to Rother Valley Country Park have been submitted to Rotherham Council.

Gulliver's, the operators of theme parks in Warrington, Matlock Bath and Milton Keynes developed an initial 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.

The proposals, which will create around 400 jobs, will see Gulliver's buy approximately 250 acres from Rotherham Council. Two applications have been submitted, one for the change of use of the greenbelt site to a leisure resort and a second that details the phases of the resort and the attractions.

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, lodges, hotels and a holiday village. Expected to be built over 12 - 15 years, the theme park would come first and further developments would follow afterwards.

The overall site is approximately 98 hectares in area comprising the northern part of the Rother Valley Country Park. 215,000 sq ft of buildings are proposed, including: Main Street featuring an indoor, year round attraction including a splash zone, interactive play areas and NERF zone; five key ride areas providing over 40 rides and attractions; three hotels; themed holiday lodges, themed leisure facilities; and a spa and fitness centre.

Further details of the attractions set for Gulliver's valley can be found here.

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The completed development is anticipated to attract 21,000 to 25,000 visitors per week during the peak season and 1,000 visitors per week during the remainder of the year (apart from special events including Bonfire Night and Christmas). The normal opening hours would be 10.30 to 17.00.

The proposed vehicular access comprises a new site access junction off the A618 Mansfield Road. The resort is set to have over 1,600 car parking spaces.

In planning terms, the Council has said that it "will support proposals for a comprehensive, regional scale leisure and tourist attraction north of Rother Valley Country Park compatible with its location within the Green Belt." The Council has long had ambitions for the site to be transformed into a landmark leisure / tourism development on a national and international scale. Agreements relating to the YES! project and Visions of China developments were terminated due to the lack of progress.
The applications set out the economic benefits of the development which outweigh the harm to the Green Belt. The regeneration benefits are an estimated £36.66m overall economic impact from construction and total annual operating net economic impact on the local economy of £11.6m.

The resort will create up to 125 full time jobs and a total of around 325 part time jobs.

The plans, drawn up by Smith Jenkins, state: "The proposed development will make a considerable positive contribution to the Rotherham economy.

"The proposed development represents an opportunity to enhance both leisure and tourist facilities within the Borough. The economic advantages the proposed resort as a whole will bring to the area will include: increased employment opportunities for local people; attracting new people to the area; generating additional expenditure within the local area from visitors and supporting the local economy and other local businesses through providing a complementary land use.

"It will also further raise the profile of Rotherham as a tourist/leisure destination."

Currently, 82% of employees of existing Gulliver's resorts live within five miles of the location and 98.8% live within ten miles of resorts and the applicants expect this arrangement to be similar at Rother Valley.
A different market, the proposals are also not expected to impact on development in Rotherham town centre or any other designated centre.

Also submitted with the applications are assessments on the impact on the environment, flooding, air quality, ecology, landscape, noise and transport.

Construction is anticipated to extend over a 12-15 year period, with work commencing in 2017 immediately after an assumed grant of planning permissions.

The first phase of development (the main entrance and access roads, theme park hub and core parking) will be open in 2020.

Gulliver's valley website

Images: Gulliver's


2 comments:

Anonymous,  October 29, 2016 at 5:30 PM  

$64.000 dollar question -will it be be known as Gullivers kingdom Rotherham or Sheffield -Place your bets please !

Anonymous,  October 29, 2016 at 5:57 PM  

Edit to comment should read Gillivers Valley

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