Positive reaction to Gulliver’s plan
AN EVENT showing plans for a theme park at Rother Valley was so popular that staff opened the doors an hour early.
Hundreds of interested residents attended the Gulliver’s consultation sessions in Aston and Kiveton Park.
Responses were mostly positive, but the main concerns were traffic and access to the kids’ theme park.
Wales resident Brian Woodward said: “I think traffic on Mansfield Road could be a problem at certain times, although the park is not open all year round.
“We were living in Wales when Rother Valley Country Park was created, probably over 40 years ago. That was horrendous, but this has no land restructuring so it shouldn’t be as bad.”
He added: “My wife and I have six grandchildren, who don’t live in the area. When they come up, they always like to go to the Matlock one, so they will be excited when we show them the leaflets from today.”
The planned entrance was originally off the A57, before potential ground contamination was found on the land. The site was reduced to 250 acres from 330 as a result.
Attractions in addition to the main fairytale castle hub include a Lost World dinosaurs area, a Wild West section and Gulliver’s Gears for all things wheels.
Andy Clarke, of Beighton, visited the Wales consultation with family including daughter Isabelle (4).
He said: “It’s something that will bring people to the area. It will increase traffic, but any development does.
“Isabelle liked the look of everything. With it being built in stages, it seems like there will always be something new for her.”
David Holmes, of Wales, said: “It’s very impressive. They are keeping all the rights of way open and Rother Valley Country Park is not going to be affected.”
Wife Janet added: “This is the third attempt to do something with this land. Everything else has fallen flat but this time it feels like it will actually happen.”
Dean Kimberley, Gulliver’s director of guest services, said: “We were busy all day. At Aston, we even opened an hour early because there were people waiting to see the plans.
“It’s been largely positive, as the previous consultation events were.
“There have been some concerns about traffic, which we expected.
“The times of the year that we operate are mainly weekends and the school holidays, which are not necessarily peak times.
“Whatever the outcome of the traffic assessment, we will work with that. We want our visitors to be able to get in and out as smoothly as possible.”
He added: “Gears is a new concept for us. It will be all things wheels, with a vintage car museum and a track where you can maybe try them out.”
It will also include a mountain bike trail and pump track, added thanks to input from the Rother Valley Riders’ club.
Part of the aim will be to make the most of the existing landscape. Talks with the Wildlife Trust are under way and the plans include an ecological centre, Camp Gulliver’s and a wilderness village.
A later stage of the plan even includes Pet Resort – a creche for animals brought along