Project Horizon: Planning Application Submitted

Nick🎢

TS Member
Favourite Ride
Spinball Whizzer 😒
Yeah not selling it - just anything in that dark coaster space is worth folding in at this point.

On a side note Intamin talked about how historically their departments operated quite separately but have started to collaborate on projects. Catapult falls was the example given but while I am reading too much into things I'll go back to some kind of coaster flying theatre mashup as one for the bookie's sheet.
 
Ok, this is my best guess as to the likely identity of Project Horizon taking into account the known evidence (12.5 million budget, building size etc).

1. I'm thinking a themed indoor coaster, similar in character to the forthcoming Darkcoaster at Busch Gardens.

2. I don't know if this will be SW9.

3. Bi rail as opposed to tri rail track will keep the cost down and allow more ride in less space.

4. A high density of track (AT have a lot of experience of this with The Smiler.

5. Short trains to navigate tight turns.

6. Sporadic, but quality theming that takes advantage of advances in what can be done since other UK dark rides, without using the very latest and most expensive technology (I trust JW to deliver on the imagination front. He will get bang for his buck). Dark between set peices.

7. Fast switch track to improve capacity. Larger number of short trains and blocks.

8. Family thrill, but a little more towards family than Thirteen and Galactica.

9. No IP (Put the budget into the hardware and theming, please.

10. A quality manufacturer, but not super premium like B and M. I don't think it will be Gerstlaur, but a track configuration similar to Firechaser Express at Dollywood, but exclusively Bi rail and with shorter trains, more turns and short snappy drops. Not many long straights, but many speed variations.

11. IMA score sound track.

12 No inversions.

Confident I will get at least 2 out of 12 but don't know which 2 lol.

I've put my head on the chopping block. Gulp!
 
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Steve74

TS Member
Someone called Paul from Buxton has subitted this to the planning portal, saying what most of us probably think about the parish council at times:
It's no surprise the parish council have reacted negatively against this as they seem to want the cash and local tourism the park brings in, but react negatively to any improvements the park ask for. The income into the area, plus increase in jobs and resources for the area are needed in a time where we are living through the worst cost of living crisis on top of bubbling unemployment. Yet the parish council feel they can bully the council, park and public into their wants and needs. The park has been on site since 1980 with over 40 years of investment into the local area. If the local parish are so unhappy with developments, maybe they need to look at moving to a new town.
 

AT86

TS Member
I have every sympathy for the residents that the parish council are elected to represent.

They take the brunt of the negative impacts the park brings - namely traffic and noise from rides, tannoys, music etc but don’t see much in the way of the benefits, they aren’t felt much in the village itself.

Employment mainly comes from the younger population in the larger local towns and cities such as Leek, Uttoxeter and Stoke, and the park don’t seem to make any effort to support local business in the supply chain - mainly buying everything in from national wholesalers.

There are some B&Bs of course, but without Alton Towers there would still be some demand from visitors seeking the walks and countryside of the local area. Again the larger hotels and income are further afield and don’t directly benefit the village.
 

Dave

TS Founding Member
I have every sympathy for the residents that the parish council are elected to represent.

They take the brunt of the negative impacts the park brings - namely traffic and noise from rides, tannoys, music etc but don’t see much in the way of the benefits, they aren’t felt much in the village itself.

Employment mainly comes from the younger population in the larger local towns and cities such as Leek, Uttoxeter and Stoke, and the park don’t seem to make any effort to support local business in the supply chain - mainly buying everything in from national wholesalers.

There are some B&Bs of course, but without Alton Towers there would still be some demand from visitors seeking the walks and countryside of the local area. Again the larger hotels and income are further afield and don’t directly benefit the village.

I agree to an extent though a few points:

1) Alton has more pubs than most villages it’s size would support, this is the tourist pound.

2) The area is pretty but it’s not uniquely so, I don’t think walkers would support more than 2 B&B’s in the area.

3) the Tory parish council have had no issue with the Tory council not supporting the relief road and the Tory council had no issue with the Tory government expanding the road to JCB but no further using government money (JCB being owned by some one who is a major Tory party donor). Don’t cry about something your party had the ability to help fix.
 

Sambiasso

TS Member
......The main building would be around 71 metres long and 51 metres wide, and would comprise a steel portal frame with dark green cladding, with a smaller extension on its eastern side. Twenty-seven trees would need to be removed to make way for the new attraction, along with a further 11 in poor condition, but the plans say that this loss would be 'significantly offset' through new tree planting proposed as part of a landscaping works scheme.


According to the application, the development 'will provide a new indoor attraction, enhance the visitor economy and contribute to the economic growth of Staffordshire Moorlands district'.

Around 85 construction jobs would be created over the two year build period, while the completed attraction would support 107 full-time equivalent jobs within the park. Alton Towers says the attraction will generate £5.1 million in indirect and induced expenditure, along with £2.2 million in off-site expenditure.

The application states: "The design of the new attraction will respect its surroundings both in landscape and heritage terms, and the design approach will seek to meet the expectations of resort guests whilst respecting the heritage of the site and its surroundings including biodiversity and woodland landscape.

"In conclusion, the proposals reflect the aims of both national and local policy and guidance. A large benefit of the proposal is that it allows AltonTowers Resort to continue to attract guests and allows the resort to remain competitive within an increasingly competitively market. In turn, this provides noteworthy economic benefits in the form of tourism and employment."

But the application has attracted a number of objections, with some nearby residents raising concerns over its visual impact, noise and traffic.

Alton resident Julian Beattie says: "This development will prove to be a blot on the landscape of the Churnet Valley, no matter what the planning consultants, Lichfields, claim. If built it will ruin the views from Alton, Toothill and numerous other locations."

Another objector James Green, also of Alton, said: "The visual impact on the surrounding area is unacceptable as the proposed building sits above the tree line as seen from multiple highly sensitive locations such as Toothill, Rainroach, Farley Park, and will almost certainly be visible from view points around Alton Castle, St. Johns church and other points in the Town Head area of Alton."

But Alton resident Victoria Hutson supports the application. She said: "I have no objections to the proposed plans and as a person who lives in Alton, I would think this is a great expansion of the current Alton towers park. The investment in the future of the park shows Merlin Entertainment is not only committed to bringing tourists to our area but also jobs."

A spokesperson for Alton Towers Resort said: "Alton Towers Resort is committed to refreshing and diversifying its offer to ensure that it attracts the next generation of visitors in an increasingly competitive market. This will help secure existing jobs and create new employment opportunities.

"We are immensely proud of our rural location and this plays a key consideration in how we manage the site and shape plans for the future. The Resort will continue to engage with and support the local community in which we are based."

Planners at the district council will make a decision on the application in the coming weeks.


Some interesting bits in the local rag about PH.
 

Matt.GC

TS Member
I have no doubt it'll get through. But reading planning objections from locals at work or every time something gets proposed close to home there's no wonder we have a housing crisis in this country, public transport is crap, full time work is hard to find, our economy seems to be in a doom loop, mobile phone signal is patchy, Broadband access is crap in most areas and we're still so heavily reliant on fossil fuels as a nation.

They're talking about a dark green shed behind a load of trees that they'll have to squint or use binoculars to see from very specific locations outside the park here surely?
 

Matt N

TS Member
Favourite Ride
Mako (SeaWorld Orlando)
But reading planning objections from locals at work or every time something gets proposed close to home there's no wonder we have a housing crisis in this country, public transport is crap, full time work is hard to find, our economy seems to be in a doom loop, mobile phone signal is patchy, Broadband access is crap in most areas and we're still so heavily reliant on fossil fuels as a nation.
Surely this can’t be uniquely British, though? Surely folk who don’t like things getting built exist in every country?
 

QTXAdsy

TS Member
Favourite Ride
Black Hole
Surely this can’t be uniquely British, though? Surely folk who don’t like things getting built exist in every country?
Different is many other countries there is wide open spaces to pick from...something that we don't have the space for in this country unless going a brownfield site and even then they are quickly snatched up before you know it. I can understand to an extent if the negative effects were to going to be bad in the long term such as any major construction project which causes much trouble but if it is for the greater good that will benefit them then likely they'll sweap their original views under the carpet.

Nearby where I live with a new railway being built will see the housing property in that area see their value go up considerably and many I know have plans to make a cheap buck from it but that's going off topic.

Beside, surprised no one has mentioned that building this new structure would mean cleaning up that backstage area of the park which for those who remember that photo of that wasteland unseen by the public can only be a good thing. I know the park probably doesn't mean it to leave it in that state but when you consider how much of a conservation area the location is in I'm stunned no conservation activist kicked up a fuss up over the backstage area looking worse than your nearest rubbish dump and how damaging it is for the environment. Getting it cleared for a new building that would blend in with the surrounding landscape can only be a good thing IMO.
 

Matt.GC

TS Member
Surely this can’t be uniquely British, though? Surely folk who don’t like things getting built exist in every country?
Yeah and accountability to stop capitalists spoiling natural landscapes and building whatever they want is a good thing. But snooty middle England in particular love sitting in quaint villages in houses that at some point had to be built by someone, supplied energy by electricity pilons, supplied phone signal from a phone mast at the end of someone else's garden (or in this case, right behind the building they're objecting to inside the flag tower!) reading the Daily Mail whinging about foreigners and using public roads and railways to go to poorer areas for shopping and leisure where they're happy for whatever to be built to suit their needs.

At what point, in a country who's economy seems to be in terminal decline, where there is a lack of quality full time employment, where we lag behind other developed countries in terms of public transport and renewable energy and can't home people do we draw the line? A wind turbine is a pole in the middle of a field. A small theme park attraction that could provide jobs for the little people and generate tax revenue, in this case, is an inconspicuous green shed hidden behind some trees. But Ken from number 42 water lily cottage can see it if he concentrates and squints hard enough from a very specific spot in the church graveyard should be want to walk his Scottish Terrier Betsy around there in the middle of winter.

I think I did well to fit so many stereotypes into 2 paragraphs there.
 
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