Center Parcs scraps plans for another English holiday village
and live on Freeview channel 276
It had planned to build up to 900 lodges, a range of indoor and outdoor leisure facilities, a ‘subtropical swimming pool’, a variety of restaurants, shops and a spa as part of £350 million plans for a new resort on 553 acres of privately-owned woodland near Crawley, West Sussex.
However, a flood of objections were raised over the proposals and concerns raised over the destruction of ancient woodland.
And Center Parcs, which has its head office at its Sherwood Forest village, near Edwinstowe, has now said it would not be progressing its proposals for a forest holiday village at the site.
The company said: “In July 2021, the business secured an option agreement to acquire the privately owned woodland.
“We have a longstanding record of enhancing the habitats in which we build our villages and at the very heart of this is choosing a site that meets our specific environmental and social requirements.
“As part of our usual pre-planning process, we have undertaken rigorous environmental and ecological site surveys and, having analysed all the detail from these surveys, we have concluded the site at Oldhouse Warren is not a suitable location for a Center Parcs village.”
Center Parcs ‘disappointed’ to pull out
Colin McKinlay, chief executive, said: “We have always been committed to only building our villages in areas where we can improve the biodiversity of the site. While it is obviously disappointing we will not be able to bring Center Parcs to this part of West Sussex, this decision demonstrates how seriously we take our responsibility to the environment, as well as our ongoing commitment to enhancing the natural habitats in which our villages are located.
“Through our customer insights we are confident there is strong demand in the UK market for a sixth Center Parcs village and, with this in mind, we will continue our search for a suitable site.”
As well as Sherwood Forest, Center Parcs operates five other resorts across the UK and Ireland: Elveden Forest in Suffolk; Longleat Forest in Wiltshire; Whinfell Forest in Cumbria; Woburn Forest in Bedfordshire; and Longford Forest, County Longford, Ireland.
Objections to a holiday village being built in Sussex were made by Crawley Council and a number of environmental groups.