2022 Speculation and CBeebies Land additions

JAperson

TS Member
Sorry for the double posting didn't see the one I am replying to until afterwards.
There’s certainly been some unexpected news/changes over the past couple of days. Swiss Cottage refurbishment…Towers Street Bar and Grill open again…next thing we’ll see is some construction walls going up around Air’s tunnel and planning approval for a cross valley coaster :D

Joking aside, both of these enhancements were totally unexpected from my perspective but they undoubtedly will enhance the overall experience.
Your right though @s_g_k the park really do seem to be heading in the right direction with these little improvments. It obviously signals that the new owners do want the place to change and do care about it (even if it is for financial reasons).

If it's a sign of things to come then I would be very pleased as this sort of little thing is what the park really needs and will really improve the place. Realistically, if Alton Towers can get back to the quality it had before with enough F&B and other outlets with the little things cared for and the guest experience coming first. We could be looking at a really good session next year and in the years to come. But only time will tell.
 

Squiggs

TS Team
Has any sort of removal taken place, or is the play area still exactly as it was at the end of 2021?

Sorry, I only ask because it’s a little hard to tell with all the snow on the ground in the above construction photo.

I had the same thought that it looked in tact, but I've just taken another look and if I've got the right view it looks like the old Cobweb Capers climbing frame has been removed plus a couple of smaller structures next to it. The wire has also been removed from the zipwire, but I'm not sure how much you can read into that.

It is this more or less the view we're looking at (photo from Theme Park Guide):
dsc_0110_1.jpg


In the TS photo there is a black square in the middle, which I think is the foundation of central pole the climbing frame.
 

Skyscraper

TS Member
Favourite Ride
Nemesis
Is it sad that I'm more excited about the prospect of something happening with the Swiss Cottage and TS Bar and Grill than any of the other future stuff being speculated?
Not at all, they are both f&b units that the park desperately needs, not to mention historic! :)
 

s_g_k

TS Member
Is it sad that I'm more excited about the prospect of something happening with the Swiss Cottage and TS Bar and Grill than any of the other future stuff being speculated?
Not at all. It just confirms that the last thing Alton Towers needs is a new headline attraction that saps all financial resource away from the things that are literally rotting away.
 

DistortAMG

TS Member
Favourite Ride
Pirates of the Caribbean (DLP)
Playing devils advocate here regarding the Swiss Cottage.

There is no legal obligation to keep a grade 2 listed building in good shape. But owners are encouraged too. Local authorities can and do intervene if they believe the state of a building is at risk of deteriorating. The most extreme end of that spectrum being an urgent repair notice being served.

So basically there is an unwritten obligation to maintain grade 2 listed structures, but it is down to the discretion of the local authorities. Given the nature of Alton Towers, I would imagine they would want this building preserved, something this planning application seems to show it doing.

But, it only lists repair and making good work. Grade 2 listed status applies to the inside too, if they were planning on using it for something, I am sure they would need planning permissions of some sort for the inside, of which there is none. Fairly substantial work would need to be carried out inside too for it to be used for anything, as it is in a bad state, this would need planning permission. This says to me, the repair work being carried out is just that. Repair work. Work to keep the structure from detonating even further.

I could be wrong and I hope I am, I would love to see something there. But there is nothing in the application that supports this, and it would need to be in their due to its listed status.
 

Matt.GC

TS Member
Not at all. It just confirms that the last thing Alton Towers needs is a new headline attraction that saps all financial resource away from the things that are literally rotting away.
My thoughts exactly mate. A new gimmick laden coaster doesn't interest me in the slightest at the moment when I see the park like it is. It's all these little to medium things the park needs to improve standards.

Especially important the Swiss Cottage to you. Great story about your grandfather.
 

rob666

TS Member
Work to put the interior back to how it was does not need planning permission, or instruction from English Heritage, as long as honest like for like repairs are done.
 

Steve74

TS Member
But, it only lists repair and making good work. Grade 2 listed status applies to the inside too, if they were planning on using it for something, I am sure they would need planning permissions of some sort for the inside, of which there is none. Fairly substantial work would need to be carried out inside too for it to be used for anything, as it is in a bad state, this would need planning permission. This says to me, the repair work being carried out is just that. Repair work. Work to keep the structure from detonating even further.

I could be wrong and I hope I am, I would love to see something there. But there is nothing in the application that supports this, and it would need to be in their due to its listed status.
That's how I read it too. If you read the Design, Access & Heritage Statement document (which is actually quite interesting for a planning document!) it talks about what's happened to the building in 2019:

In 2019, following the collapse of the modern felted flat roof to the rear kitchen extension, a decision was taken in conjunction with the local planning authority’s conservation officer to remove the rear extension completely and to repair and restore the original rear elevation.

I see this planning application as just as repairs to what happened in 2019 and to make the building safe, secure and weatherproof again.

There is a line in there that makes me think some people are jumping the gun when it comes to what is being planned for the building:

Possible future uses for The Swiss Cottage include bringing it back into food and beverage use, as an estate office or possibly a museum of memorabilia, but there is currently no formal plan.
So we have to assume there are no immediate plans yet - not until these repairs are completed anyway.
 

Squiggs

TS Team
I could be wrong and I hope I am, I would love to see something there. But there is nothing in the application that supports this, and it would need to be in their due to its listed status.

I would go one step further, the application specifically states that they have no plans to put it back into use. Based on what they say in the application I would not expect it to be back in use at any time in the near future.

That said they are certainly going beyond a standard repair. It sounds like they are planning on doing some good quality (if relatively minor) restoration work, whilst making the building watertight, so it certainly sounds like they are carrying out their duty of care for the building.
 

DistortAMG

TS Member
Favourite Ride
Pirates of the Caribbean (DLP)
Work to put the interior back to how it was does not need planning permission, or instruction from English Heritage, as long as honest like for like repairs are done.

I agree but if they are planning to use it as a modern food and beverage outlet, will it not need some modern alterations, which would mean some sort of planning applications so that the interior complies with modern regulations even though the majority of it is being put back to it's original form. Using it as a modern restaurant will not be putting it back exactly to how it was, just mostly to how it was, depending on how much they modify it. It is this mostly bit that would require the planning permission.

It even says in the heratige statement in the application, that there are possible future uses for a food and beverage unit or museum, but there are no plans currently in place. If they were planning to open it up next year, they would say so in the application, but they have specifically said they are not doing that. I do not think they are going to lie to heratige England and the local authorities.

What this does do however, is as Alton Towers said themselves, opens the door for future uses. Making the structure good now, means less work needs to be done in the future if and when they decide to do something with it. Something that is pretty much mirrored in Alton Towers own words in the application

I would go one step further, the application specifically states that they have no plans to put it back into use. Based on what they say in the application I would not expect it to be back in use at any time in the near future.

That said they are certainly going beyond a standard repair. It sounds like they are planning on doing some good quality (if relatively minor) restoration work, whilst making the building watertight, so it certainly sounds like they are carrying out their duty of care for the building.

I just saw that as you posted it! And @Steve74 did too. So yeah I agree they are doing more than I needed..so it does open up for future use. But also leaves them enough room if plans change and they decide not too, as loads of money beyond the make good part has not been spent.
 

s_g_k

TS Member
I’m sure that grade 2 listing only requires you to apply for planning for exterior works only. It’s only grade 1 listed buildings that require internal planning permission and interior work to be carried out in a particular way that was typical of the period that the building was built in. That’s why living in a grade 1 listed building is a right pain in the ar*e. Essentially, they can do whatever they want with the inside as long as it doesn’t impact the exterior building
 

Squiggs

TS Team
It is interesting the mention F&B usage though, as between the demolition in 2019 and this restoration they have essentially removed the enitre kitchen from the building. Plus by removing the existing ventilation and electric boxes, it suggests they have no intention to put a professional kitchen back into the space.
 

DistortAMG

TS Member
Favourite Ride
Pirates of the Caribbean (DLP)
I’m sure that grade 2 listing only requires you to apply for planning for exterior works only. It’s only grade 1 listed buildings that require internal planning permission and interior work to be carried out in a particular way that was typical of the period that the building was built in. That’s why living in a grade 1 listed building is a right pain in the ar*e. Essentially, they can do whatever they want with the inside as long as it doesn’t impact the exterior building

However, if they were to use it as a restaurant or whatever, would it be exactly how it was? in order to comply with modern regulations regarding food and fire safety ect? I doubt it would be exactly to how it was, just similar for this reason. Some modifications would be needed. Needing permission of some sort. That is how I see it anyway.

While it would be nice being a restaurant. I would equally love a museum there. Alton Towers public archives anyone?
 

Danny

TS Contributor
Favourite Ride
Steel Vengeance
I couldn't really see over the fence to know what is/isn't there in Cbeebies, it was a stretch to get my phone over.

I do quite like the hoarding though with the chalkboards for kids. Although obviously, some rascals have gotten to it and scrawled the word boobies and other such comments on them...
 

Squiggs

TS Team
Thanks for taking the pics @Danny. It looks like they've already made good progress in the past couple of weeks.

Based on what we could see in the pic over the fence these areas marked in red have had their equipment removed:
Tree Fu Tom Replacment.jpg
For all those Tree Fun Fans out there, that's the Spell School, Twig's Treetop Adventure and Tom's Leafboard Challenge areas that have been cleared out.
 
Top