Hotel and water park could be on its way to Longleat
2:06pm 17th February 2017
A huge expansion to the Longleat safari park could be on its way - and it might mean making our visits to the Wiltshire attraction a little longer.
The company wants to build a hotel, conference facilities and a water park on land that's part of the Estate.
An 89 acre site has been earmarked for the new facilities, close to the A36, with Longleat describing it as a 'resort'.
Pictured here is the artists impression of what the hotel could look like.
We might only be half an hour or so from the safari park, but the company's calling their plans 'a first for Wiltshire'.
Here's the aerial view of the site, with the boundary in red
In a statement that's part of their planning application to Wiltshire Council, Longleat have given a few more details about what they're hoping to build:
"The new Hotel Resort will have a design that embodies the internationally recognised brand and builds on Longleat's unique standing as an innovator and as a leading UK tourist destination. The intention is that the Hotel Resort will, through its authentic architecture, be viewed as always having been in the landscape. The new development will include a 240 room Hotel, a fully integrated Hotel Water Park, a Business Conference Facility for up to 200 delegates and a wholly unique and immersive animal experience that is an amenity for hotel guests and is intended, to complement the Longleat Safari Park.
"A hotel water park and business conference facility of this scale does not exist in the County, but with the Longleat brand and reputation this Hotel Resort will quickly gain the profile to become a major tourism 'hub' and a regional economic asset for the South West of England."
Visitor numbers to Longleat are growing, especially thanks to events like their Festival of Lights each Christmas (pictured above), which brings people in at what's traditionally been an 'off-peak season' for them and similar attractions.
The site does have Center Parcs nearby in the Longleat Forest.
RESPONSE SO FAR:
The developers held their own public consultation on the plans in December 2016.
They tell us over 70 people attended those displays at Warminster Rugby Club and they received a total of 44 written responses in feedback.
Of those responses, 63% were in favour of the Hotel Resort, with 22% undecided, saying that they wanted to see more 'detailed Hotel Resort designs' than would be in an Outline Planning application.
The idea's also got the backing of local tourism bosses - David Andrews, Chief Executive of VisitWiltshire, said:
"With the value of Wiltshire tourism up year on year, this is exactly the type of accommodation the region needs. Longleat is also extremely well placed to be the 'hub' for those wishing to visit the historic cities, towns and many attractions Wiltshire has to offer. It will be a huge boost to the local economy and to the job market to have a Hotel Resort of this size and style on our doorstep."
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