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Fantasy tree house hope for Alton Towers bosses

By UttoxeterPostandTimes.3522974.UttoxeterPostandTimes  |  Posted: March 17, 2014

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THRILL-seekers wanting to get away to their fairytale tree house could soon be in for a treat as Alton Towers plans to make the dream become a reality.

The popular theme park has applied to Staffordshire Moorlands District Council’s planning committee to build 10 luxury tree houses and 61 unique holiday lodges – which will create around 140 new jobs.

The resort is hoping for permission to build the houses as part of its efforts to increase its foothold in the short-break holiday market.

Mark Kerrigan, development director for Alton Towers Resort, told the Advertiser that the idea of the holiday houses is part of the long term plan for the park.

He said: “The proposed new development will consist of 61 uniquely themed, individually styled lodges and 10 luxury treehouses that will further enhance our position as a short-break holiday resort.

“Tourism represents a £1.8 billion industry to Staffordshire and we want to be part of the on-going growth of that figure through our planned future development.

“It’s a very exciting concept for us and one that we believe will create real opportunities for the surrounding area.

“Further accommodation has been in our Long Term Plan since 2009 and we’ve worked incredibly hard over the past 20 years with Staffordshire County tourism to grow the appeal of Staffordshire as a holiday location resulting in an increase in the overnight stay market volumes of 21 per cent from 2008 to 2012.

“We firmly believe therefore that given the overall increase in this wider short breaks market there is ample opportunity for both the resort and the local area to benefit from our positioning as a two or three-day destination.”

Each of the planned tree houses will sleep up to eight people and will even be equipped with hot tubs based on an outdoor terrace.

To add to the feel of the new Enchanted Village, an artists impression submitted alongside the plans show wooden buildings and some with the fairytale pointed turret-type roofs.

The new expansion is planned to be located on currently undeveloped land next to the resort’s existing hotel complex.

It will neighbour the main theme park, which includes rides such as Thirteen, Nemesis and The Smiler.

The new site will also include a new restaurant for visitors.

Merlin Entertainments, which owns the park along with Blackpool Tower, Madame Tussauds and Thorpe Park, said the new jobs will include full and part-time positions and will be available to Uttoxeter jobseekers.

The application will be decided by the district council’s planning committee.

The resorts updated Long Term Development Plan was revealed in late 2012 and was made available online at the Alton Towers Heritage website.

The report plans out the future of the theme park until 2019 and its purpose is to inform Staffordshire Moorlands District Council as well as residents of the surrounding area what the core strategy for the resort will be over the next few years.

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