The proposal will involve the removal of existing rides on the development site and replacement with a new rollercoaster. Visitors will be transported from the station structure around a new track over water in an exhilarating experience. A maintenance building is proposed to the west of the station building and there will be associated facilities provided such as a food and beverage outlet and photo shop.
Further detail on the design of the ride will be provided through the planning process.
The rollercoaster track has been carefully designed to consider views from the surrounding area. Where publicly visible from beyond the Resort boundaries, the design ensures that the rollercoaster will be seen in the context of other rides and existing development at Thorpe Park.
The site is Previously Developed land within the Green Belt and planning policy allows redevelopment and infill development where there is no greater impact on the openness of the Green Belt than existing development.
A detailed study will be submitted with the application to demonstrate that the proposals will not adversely affect views, or the openness of the Green Belt given the surrounding Theme Park development. Our initial analysis is provided below.
View Point 1: Internal view from new Thorpe Farm
View Point 2: From M3/Thrope Road Bridge
View Point 3: From Thorpe Cemetery
View Point 4: From M3/A320 Bridge
View Point Plans
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View Point 5: From Colonels Lane
View Point 6: From the Thames nr Riverfield Road
The site sits within Flood Zone 2 and 3. The Resort already has its own Flood Response Plan, which will be applicable to the development. Thorpe Park has provided a floodplain compensation bank which helps to balance out the potential impact of development within the flood zone.
We will discuss the project with the Environment Agency as the proposal move forward. The planning application will be accompanied by a Flood Risk Assessment and drainage strategy to ensure that the new ride is acceptable in flood risk terms.
Visitor numbers to Thorpe Park remain well below the peak levels experienced in 2010. The graph below demonstrates that visitor numbers fluctuate and that without investment in new rides visitor numbers will decline. Following the last developments at Thorpe Park - The Walking Dead Ride (2018) and Bouncezilla inflatable (2019) - there was no significant impact on the highways network and visitor numbers did not rise above the 2010 peak.
Visitor numbers are in the gradual process of recovery post COVID-19 restrictions. Taking these factors into account, it is not anticipated that the development will have a negative impact on the surrounding highways network.
Theme Park Admissions
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Noise surveys have been undertaken and the nearest residential properties identified.
New rides also have smoother working parts than older rides and so the operational noise levels should be lower than a number of other rides on site.
Due to this and the location of the ride in the existing Resort, noise from the new ride is not expected to lead to additional noise impacts.
Noise Receptors Plan
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Trees and Landscaping
A number of trees will be removed as part of the proposals (many of these trees are of low quality). A tree survey has been undertaken and an assessment will accompany the planning application. Replacement tree planting will be proposed where trees do need to be removed for the development and where possible high value trees will be retained and protected.
The site itself is of low ecological interest, although within the wider setting of Thorpe Park there are important habitats that support wintering birds. Ecological surveys are underway to inform assessment of the potential impacts and to identify opportunities for delivering long-term biodiversity enhancements.