PICTURES: Plans for massive Rother Valley theme park unveiled

A pirate ship ride is proposed
A pirate ship ride is proposed
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Plans to build a massive new family-friendly theme park near Rother Valley have been officially submitted.

Gulliver’s want to build the 250 acre park on the former Pithouse West colliery site adjoining Rother Valley Country Park.

Julie Dalton from Gulliver's

Julie Dalton from Gulliver's

A decision on the planning application is due early next year, with hopes that construction could start later in 2017, with bosses hoping it could be partly-opened by 2018 or 2019.

It is expected the completed development will attract up to 25,000 visitors per week during the peak season.

The idea of opening the park was first announced in September 2015, with full details now revealed.

The new theme park is to be called ‘Gulliver’s Valley’ and will be aimed at two to 13-year-olds offering rides, attractions, soft play and indoor fun, centred on themed areas around a main fairytale castle.

The current Pithouse West site

The current Pithouse West site

The theme park will be built in phases but the planning application has warned the entire park may take over a decade to complete.

"Construction is anticipated to extend over a 12 to 15 year period, with work commencing in 2017 immediately after an assumed grant of planning permissions," it said.

"The actual construction period would be expected to vary in response to influences such as weather and market conditions, such that completion may not be until after 2030."

The plans include more than 40 rides and attractions, a 20m high castle and a 40m high rotating observation tower.

The plans for Gulliver's Valley

The plans for Gulliver's Valley

It will include rollercoasters, a pirate ship, dodgems, water slides, a log flume, a rapids ride and a runaway train ride.

The proposed development will include three hotels with a combined 244 bedrooms; holiday lodges and a spa and fitness centre.

Plans for the Rother Valley site also include an indoor water play zone, a climbing centre, a glades attraction, and an education and ecology centre encompassing forest classrooms and outdoor learning adventures for young children.

In addition, nature trails, walks, outdoor gyms and woodland runs at Gulliver’s Valley will be available to be used by the local community as well as visitors to the theme park.

The Antelope ride planned for Gulliver's Valley

The Antelope ride planned for Gulliver's Valley

The theme park will create 125 full-time jobs and 325 part-time jobs.

The Lilliput Castle Hotel will include 100 bedrooms and a large dining area and act as the 'centrepiece of the park'.

Meanwhile, the 40m-high observation tower will include a rotating platform to give visitors views out over the resort.

There will also be a 'Wild West' hotel with 84 bedrooms, while the 'Wilderness Resort' will even include a wedding chapel.

The plans also include a 'Dream Village' where seriously and terminally-ill children will be given free holidays in special accommodation

There will be parking up for to 1,600 cars.

A pirate ride planned for Gulliver's Valley

A pirate ride planned for Gulliver's Valley

Gulliver’s Director Julie Dalton said: “These are our most ambitious plans to date. As our fourth theme park project, Gulliver’s Valley will bring together the best elements of our existing parks plus a huge amount of our experience and learning from the last 38 years since my father opened our very first park in Matlock Bath.

“It’s an exciting time for us now that the application has finally been submitted. It follows over a year of working with the Borough Council plus two rounds of consultation events that gave local residents the chance to comment on our plans.

“Gulliver’s Valley is set to give the area an economic boost as we look to use a local supply chain and bring tourism pounds into the local economy. Add to that the number of local jobs it will create - up to 255 full time equivalent posts - and it will be a real positive for the Rother Valley community.”

It follows previous failed attempts to develop the greenbelt site.

In 2011, leisure organisation China Vision were confirmed as preferred developers for the site to create a Chinese-themed attraction but last year a new partner was sought by the council following a lack of progress with that plan.

Prior to that, a proposal for it to be the home of a 5,000-seater arena for the Sheffield Steelers ice hockey team was scrapped.

Julie Dalton added: “Local residents and anyone interested in our latest exciting development can view our plans online and comment on them - visit www.gulliversvalley.co.uk.”

The log flume ride

The log flume ride

The Lilliput Castle

The Lilliput Castle

Water slides are proposed

Water slides are proposed

The observation tower

The observation tower

A Tower ride could be built

A Tower ride could be built