Alton Towers to build 'fairytale' holiday village
ALTON Towers has revealed multi-million pound plans to build 150 accommodation lodges as part of a new 'fairytale' holiday village.
Seventy-five jobs will be created by the latest development at the theme park.
The accommodation – which includes lodges and huts – will be designed on a fairytale theme.
Play areas and a restaurant will also be included in the sprawling holiday village to the north of the theme park's two hotels.
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The planning application comes as the attraction prepares to open its new £18 million rollercoaster in March.
Latest figures show 20,000 people are visiting Alton Towers every day during its busiest periods.
An Alton Towers spokesman said: "The accommodation is based on myths and legends and the increasing popularity of children's adventure stories and fairytales.
"It will conjure up images of accommodation in a far-off magical land."
Alton Towers – which employs around 2,000 people during its peak summer season – has 391 rooms at its two hotels. Its planning application is aimed at meeting demand for additional overnight accommodation.
Tourists will be ferried to the accommodation by staff in golf-style buggies to ensure the area remains a vehicle-free zone.
The first phase of the scheme will see the creation of 16 double lodges, 64 huts and five 'holes'.
The second part of the development will see an additional 18 double lodges and 47 huts.
The planning application states: "As with the existing established hotels, the new lodge accommodation within the theme park environment has allowed a great deal of flexibility in terms of the design.
"In this case a totally new concept in the resort's accommodation by providing individual lodges in a virtually car-free environment, within the resort."
Tourism leaders today welcomed the planned development. Staffordshire's tourism sector employs more than 46,000 people directly and indirectly in the county.
County Councillor Pat Corfield, who is also involved with the Destination Staffordshire tourism scheme, said: "The proposed expansion presents a great opportunity to grow Staffordshire's tourism and increase employment."
WaterWorld owner and Destination Staffordshire ambassador Mo Chaudry said: "This is very positive and a real shot in the arm during these economic times.
"For sometime Alton Towers has been branding itself as a resort.
"In this scheme it is combining Disney and Center Parcs and broadening its appeal to as wide a market as possible."