SIX-UP FOR CENTER PARCS IN UK
Center Parcs has confirmed it has identified a site for its sixth UK village having secured an option agreement to acquire 553 acres of woodland off Balcombe Road in Worth, West Sussex. The forest at Oldhouse Warren, near Crawley, has been chosen because of its location (to the south of London) and its excellent transport links. The development is expected to cost between £350m and £400m and will create around 1,500 permanent local jobs once operational, as well as around 1,000 jobs during construction.
Center Parcs anticipate the development will add an additional £40m to the local economy each year. CEO Martin Dalby said: “It’s really exciting to have identified a potential site for another Center Parcs village in the UK. “The proposal we will be submitting will create a significant number of jobs and bring major benefits to the local and national economy.” Center Parcs has five villages across the UK and Ireland; Sherwood Forest in Nottinghamshire, Elveden Forest in Suffolk, Longleat Forest inWiltshire, Whinfell Forest in Cumbria,Woburn Forest in Bedfordshire and Longford Forest in County Longford, Ireland.
Each village is nestled within 350- 400 acres of woodland with a variety of activities to choose from, restaurants and cafes. There is also a Subtropical Swimming Paradise and award-winning spa called Aqua Sana. As the leader in the UK short break holiday market, Center Parcs achieves average annual occupancy in excess of 97%. Center Parcs’ villages are sympathetically designed to blend into the existing landscape, with no visual impact on the surrounding area, and the company is committed to both protecting and enhancing the forests in which their holiday villages are located.
Sustainability is at the heart of the Center Parcs ethos and the new village will be constructed and operated in the most sustainable way possible. Hoping to submit a planning application in 2022, work is now underway on rigorous site surveys, detailed designs and pre-planning works to make sure the woodland meets the specific requirements for a Center Parcs village, as well as beginning a programme of community engagement with the local area. In line with the other Center Parcs villages, it is intended that the site at Oldhouse Warren will include lodges, a range of indoor and outdoor leisure facilities, a Subtropical Swimming Paradise, a variety of restaurants and shops and an Aqua Sana Spa.