Frequently Asked Questions
Why have the plans been updated ?
Since the start of our consultation process back in November 2019 we have been reviewing this development in line with consultation feedback. Additional work has been completed over the last few weeks to further enhance the biodiversity of the project. Additional reviews have been undertaken to access the impact on resort guests, residents and wildlife.
The result of the additional work has led to some minor amendments to the layout of the development as shown on the plans.
The objective has been to provide better still ecological improvement than before, through the planting of more than 3,000 native woodland trees (including maple, silver birch and common oak) that will result in over 27,500sq.m (circa 2.745ha) of tree cover. This proposal will help replacing trees which will perish due to Ash Dieback disease and the eradication of Himalayan Balsam which is an invasive plant species.
This is in addition to the retention of all-important trees within the development site. Looking to the future, the tree canopy cover will exceed in both quality and quantum, that which exists now or if no action is taken in the ‘no development scenario’.
We have further integrated bat and bird boxes into the development as well as a surface water pond to provide aquatic habitats on site (where there currently are none).
Where is the site?
Access will continue to be via the existing access road from Cromwell Avenue and is within the fenced off land of the Gulliver’s World Resort.
What are the plans for?
The plans are for a woodland themed holiday resort to support the existing theme park. Like many other resorts, the changing market means that overnight stays and UK short breaks for families are growing. We have a unique opportunity to provide for fun, themed breaks for children aged primarily 2-13 and provide a magical experience for families.
The planning application seeks permission to situate 69 woodland lodges, a spa and camp/caravan site together with six units of group accommodation for school groups, childcare clubs and organisations such as scouts and guides and a pet resort. The plans also include a new staff headquarters and a storage workshop for our maintenance team.
Will public access be lost?
No. There are no public rights of way through Gulliver’s World. A permissive (discretionary) footpath linking the access road to Sankey Valley Park is made available purely on a goodwill basis.
There is no public access at all to the planning application site area which is within the existing theme park resort area.
The land is separate from the Woodland Trust owned land which shall be entirely unaffected.
Is ancient woodland going to be removed as part of this development?
No. Ancient woodland is land which has been continuously wooded since 1600AD. The land within the planning application area is not ancient woodland, it is self-set immature trees. The land was open land and actively farmed up until the late 80’s.
The majority of the trees within the site are to be retained. The area is covered by a woodland management plan agreed with the forestry commission for selective thinning and woodland management.
Is the woodland going to be felled?
No. The site is to operate under the Gulliver’s Glades brand, taking its name from woodland features. The resort has been carefully designed to sit within the present woodland setting so the trees, flora, fauna and wildlife very much make up part of the attraction of the area.
All category A and veteran trees are to be retained and protected as part of the development proposals;
With the exception of two trees (which are part of a group of 30 no. Ash. Alder, Birch & Oak), all other category B trees are to be retained and protected as part of the development.
Eighteen out of a total of ninety-four category C trees are to be removed to facilitate the development. This equates to retention of seventy-six category C trees (81% retention) within this lowest category.
To enhance the site the plan shows that an additional 3,000 native woodland trees will be planted, which will result in 2.745HA of tree cover. The land is presently covered with Himalayan balsam which is a quick growing invasive weed. Whilst it is harmless to humans, it chokes out other native plant species. As part of the development, the balsam will be eradicated from the land providing a major biodiversity improvement.
Part of the development is a woodland adventure area where children and families are encouraged to enjoy the great outdoors. Other parts are to be retained free from development as wildlife corridors, with native planting to provide improved habitats.
Will it cause drainage problems?
No. As much of the site as possible will be made from permeable surfaces. Where this is not possible, rain water run-off will be piped to a new pond which is to hold the water to allow it to drain away at the same or better rate than before the development took place. The pond will also function to provide an additional wildlife habitat which is part of the biodiversity enhancement.
This approach has been agreed by the Council’s drainage engineer and by United Utilities.
What is the Pet Resort?
The pet resort has been designed to cater for the changing needs of our guests. More often pet lovers want to bring their family friends on holiday with them, because they either have challenges with pet care or simply want them to be part of the holiday.
With the challenges of allergies in many children, to allow pets into our accommodation causes many issues. Therefore, the resort has been designed that our guests can bring their pets with them on holiday.
The pet resort can cater for a range of animals from small furry friends such as rabbits, reptiles, cats and dogs.
The building houses a number of pet suites which are self-contained with full climate control to keep pets at the temperature they require. The pet suites and the building is fully sound insulated which is to be agreed by the council through a planning condition.
The Woodland Retreat is designed to be a quiet peaceful environment for all our guests. Therefore, the sound proofing of the pet resort will be paramount to the success of the resort as a whole.
Operational opening plans will be put in place on the four nights a year that Gulliver’s host’s firework displays to ensure that no animal is distressed.
Is there additional car parking?
Within the resort area there will be an additional 100 car parking spaces provided to ensure there is car parking capacity near to the accommodation for guest and staff use. There will be cycle parking, electric car charging points and accessible spaces provided as part of the scheme.
How does this relate to the 2005 planning application?
The current planning applications are in an entirely different part of the site.
The 2005 planning application (ref. 2005/05467) was approved on appeal (Appeal Decision ref. APP/M/0655/A/05/2005001 in January 2007. However, many aspects of that permission have been superseded.
How does this relate to the plans in Rotherham?
The plans in Rotherham are for a theme park in Rotherham. The application was unanimously supported by Rotherham Borough Council and is the process of being constructed.
It is separate from the planning applications in Rotherham
Will there be more traffic?
The business model involves providing accommodation for visitors, turning a day trip into an overnight or short break. This will reduce a proportion of vehicle movements.
The highways evidence shows that even in the very works scenario, the development would generate a maximum of only 80 additional visitors per day, in the extremely unlikely event that the resort is occupied at 100% capacity all of the time. Of those new potential visitors, around half are shown to arrive and depart outside the morning or evening rush hour. This amount of traffic will be genuinely unnoticed amongst the existing traffic flows.
Regardless, we are committed to a travel plan which seeks to increase the number of visitors and staff who travel to the resort by public transport. This will be implemented through a planning condition on the permission, if approved.
The Council’s highways dept has agreed with the evidence.
Noise (pet resort)
We have submitted a noise management plan for the pet resort which shows how we will manage and prevent noise from disturbing local residents and our own guests. Only 50% of the animals staying as guests at the pet resort are expected to be dogs with majority being small pets such as hamsters, guinea pigs, rabbits and cats.