Alton Towers guests will be staying in a 'fairytale world'
GUESTS at Alton Towers's proposed new holiday village will be whisked into a fairytale world – in a golf buggy.
The theme park has already moved on from being a day-trip destination with the opening of its Splash Landings Hotel and Cariba Creek waterpark in 2003.
Now theme park bosses are going a stage further with plans to build 150 lodges designed on a fairytale theme.
The project promises visitors a magical holiday experience.
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Merlin Entertainments Group – which runs Alton Towers – already owns six hotels and two holiday villages along with 87 attractions in 19 countries.
The planned 150 lodges vary in style with the 'huts' having an arched roof dropping straight to the floor, while the traditional double lodge has a decking area and its own front garden.
Each lodge will have room for up to five people.
Latest figures show more than three million people visited Alton Towers in 2010. Daily visitor numbers peak at around 20,000 in busy periods, and fall to less than 15,000 out of season. The hotels' 391 rooms have a 90 per cent occupancy rate.
An Alton Towers spokesman said: "The proposed lodge development will have limited impact on the number of theme park visitors. It will provide an additional facility for longer stays by visitors with long journeys."
Residents in Alton and surrounding villages have consistently complained about motorists clogging up roads around the resort.
Nick Cresswell, aged 52, of Moneystone, a member of Whiston Action Group, said: "As a group, we plan to make a formal representation against these plans to both the district and county councils. It seems Alton Towers can just play the jobs card and get its plans approved, which isn't for the people who have to put up with all the traffic. We are whole-heartedly against this development."
But families have today backed the planned development.
Mother-of-three Marie McCue, aged 36, of Leek, said: "I think it is somewhere we will definitely go to. We enjoy our trips to Alton Towers and the Splash Landings water park is very good.
"The lodges sound fantastic and depending on the price we would be interested in staying there."
Michelle Campbell, aged 26, of Burslem, added: "This development is a great idea and hopefully will help attract more people into the area."
Staffordshire Moorlands District Council is expected to rule on the planning application within weeks.