Five-star holiday park plan by Alton Towers founder is withdrawn
- Credit: Sonya Duncan
The founder of Alton Towers has pulled the plug on plans for a "five-star" holiday resort in Norfolk - just days before a crunch decision on its future was due to be made.
John Broome, who founded the Staffordshire theme park, had lodged plans for a major overhaul of Haveringland Hall Country Park, which would have seen more than 100 new units added to the site.
The scheme, which he described as "five-star" was due to go before Broadland councillors this week, with officers recommending that it be refused amid a raft of fears around ecology, traffic and wildlife.
However, before the decision could be made, Broadland was informed that the plans had been withdrawn - to the delight of campaigners who had fought against them.
The vision would have seen treehouses, tipis and log cabins added to the site, which is around 10 miles outside of Norwich, along with shops, a restaurant and leisure facilities in what would have been a significant expansion for the resort.
Originally submitted more than a year ago the plans initially called for more than 200 new units added, before it was scaled back to just over 100 in revised plans this year.
But the proposals were met with fierce opposition locally, resulting in the formation of the Line in the Sand campaign group, which was made up of various community leaders in the surrounding area.
Nigel Boldero, the group's founder, said: "I think the level of objection would clearly have contributed to the decision - and the fact we as a campaign took such a close look at the plans and scrutinised them - this was not nimbyism, we carried out a very close assessment.
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"It became clear that a lot of people were very strongly against the plans and it was a very sloppy application."
It now remains to be seen whether the plans are completely dead in the water or whether a fresh vision will be submitted in the months to come.
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It is understood that the developer is now considering its position - but that works to the coach house on the site may still be pursued.
RPS Group, Mr Broome's agent for the scheme, has been approached for comment on several occasions.