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£20m project for West Midland Safari Park to be discussed
7:00am Wednesday 11th September 2013 in News
Doing the business: An artist’s impression of a proposed conference facility for up to 1,000 delegates.
PLANS for a multi-million pound hotel, conference centre and waterpark at West Midland Safari Park could take a step closer to becoming a reality next week.
Wyre Forest District Council’s cabinet will decide at a meeting next Tuesday if the planning brief and “masterplan” outlining the Bewdley park’s proposals can form the basis of a planning application.
The major plans, revealed by The Shuttle in November, 2011, are to build a 250-room hotel, a 1,000-delegate conference centre and a waterpark. It is also hoped a new Severn Valley Railway station will be created and linked to the park by a monorail.
It was originally estimated the project from start to finish would cost about £20 million but would help increase net additional spending in Wyre Forest by £10 million. Nearly 300 jobs could also be created.
Conservative councillor Anne Hingley, council cabinet member for place shaping, said: “Tourism is a key element of our local economy and the safari park is one of the district’s main tourist attractions, as well as being one of the largest employers locally.
“I, therefore, look forward to considering the plan in more detail at the meeting.”
The council is using its “development team approach” for the project, which means issues can be considered before a formal planning application is submitted.
The planning brief covers issues such as transport, green belt, ecology, flood risk and landscaping, as well as integrating the potential economic impact of the proposed development.
Senior director at Planning Consultancy RPS, Nick Laister, who produced the brief on behalf of the park, said: “We are delighted to be taking the next step in this major project.
“We hope that the masterplan will be well received by members and we look forward to being able to submit a planning application for the project later this year.”
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