Chessington World of Adventures Resort have submitted a planning application to reconfigure the Explorer Entrance, in order to accommodate the track layout of the rollercoaster featured in the planned Amazon Land, which has this week been granted planning permission.
The planned redevelopment will see the demolition of almost all existing structures at the Explorer Entrance, including the ticket kiosks, turnstiles and fencing. A new ticket kiosk building will be installed at the entrance plaza, with plans showing that this will be themed using bamboo, distressed metal and paint, and props on its roof. A new thematic structure set on raised turf surrounded by sitting stones will also be added to the plaza area.
Guests will then pass through two new structures in order to enter the theme park, the first being a security check, which is shown to have an appearance similar to that of the canopy above the current turnstiles, and the second being the main entry gates, which will be situated underneath a grey canopy suspended from large bamboo posts.
The existing Explorer Supplies shop, constructed from shipping containers, will be retained, but will be relocated to beyond the entry gates, within the theme park, so as to create space to accommodate the planned changes. The existing toilet block will also be retained, remaining in the same location. Some new planting, including tropical themed and indigenous hedgerow planting will also be added around the perimeter of the entrance area.
Construction is expected to take 10 weeks and, if approved, is anticipated to commence in March 2022 and therefore be complete by the start of July 2022. Details are not given as to how construction will be managed alongside continuing to allow guests to access the theme park during the first half of the upcoming season. The proposed buildings and facilities are due to be constructed off site, and then be transported to the Resort and installed by crane.
This application does not come as a surprise, given that the documents submitted for the Amazon Land development clearly showed that the rollercoaster’s track layout would overlap with the existing entrance. Indeed it does appear that there will be views of the rollercoaster from the refreshed entrance plaza, with visuals that are included providing a glimpse at its dark green coloured track. That application was today approved by the local authority following a slightly longer than anticipated consideration period, after the Resort were required to further substantiate the Very Special Circumstances case for what would be development in a green belt area. Conditions attached to the approval include the submission of further details on the design of the central theming feature, the implementation of measures to enhance the plot of woodland to the south of the proposed development to deliver a biodiversity net gain, and the development of a travel plan to promote and encourage alternatives to car use. With the Resort bringing forward this latest application to rework the entrance plaza this year, ahead of the construction and opening of Amazon Land, it appears that a 2023 opening is still being targeted for the new area.
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