LEGOLAND Windsor Resort have this week submitted a planning application to add an indoor Adventure Golf attraction, comprising of four themed courses.
The attraction, codenamed ‘Project Birdie’, is planned to be located to the west of the theme park, on the site of the existing priority car park (Car Park A), near to the theme park’s main entrance and the location of the future Holiday Village. The application consists of a new 1,400 sq m building and the associated works, with this building housing four individually themed golf courses which will be available to both day visitors and those staying overnight at the Resort. The formal planning documents do not provide any details of the infrastructure for the courses themselves, although concept images included do provide an indicative theme and layout for a pirate-themed course. This course is shown to consist of 9 holes, suggesting that there will be 36 holes in total available to play across the four courses. However, the floor plan for the building does confirm that it will house facilities such as a reception, food and beverage servery, and toilets, including an accessible Changing Places room.
The exterior of the building will be finished in grey steel flat panels with an aluminium framed curtain wall. The main entrance to the building will be on the south elevation, and the exterior theming will be limited primarily to the main entrance elevation, with a birds nest steelwork frame and randomly placed 5mm thick steni colour cladding panels cut to LEGO brick sizes. The roof will be Kingspan panels in grey to match the walls. An existing pathway is to be retained leading straight from the proposed attraction to the main theme park entrance. These proposals will result in a loss of 131 parking spaces from the approved 2019 Hybrid Permission layout, which are due to add 450 spaces to support the Holiday Village.
It is stated that there is a need for more indoor/undercover attractions at the Resort in order to provide more immersive experiences, increase dwell time at the Resort, and to increase the attractiveness of the Resort throughout the year, to smooth visitor numbers and improve the overall guest experience. Growing competition from other visitor attractions is also cited as another reason for the development, namely from Paulton’s Park, Kidzania and Harry Potter World. Reference is also made to the potential impact from The London Resort if those plans materialise, and the fact that Disneyland Paris also attracts UK visitors from the South East, the Resort’s immediate target market area.
The submission of this application comes after a period of local consultation to discuss the emerging proposals for the Resort, including the proposed indoor adventure golf attraction. There was an initial meeting in October 2021 between Lichfields (the planning consultants) and representatives of the Royal Borough of Windsor and Maidenhead (the local council). Following this, a number of consultation events took place, starting with council members visiting the Resort later in October 2021 to tour the Park, be briefed on how the Resort was supporting local economic recovery from COVID-19 and have further discussions on the plans, which would form part of the Resort’s proposals to refresh its Long Term Plan. A Resident’s Meeting then took place later in the same month to present the emerging proposals for the Park, including the new adventure golf attraction. Finally, a public exhibition took place on 24 November 2021 at the LEGOLAND Hotel, covering these same future plans. Within the application documents is a copy of the exhibition board relating to the golf attraction that was used at the event, which suggests that potential themes of two of the other courses could be ‘Dragon & Princess’ and ‘Space Adventures’. Comments received from attendees of this event in respect of the adventure golf proposal are said to have all been supportive, hence there has not been any need to adjust the plans. Therefore, in January 2022, representatives of the Resort provided an update to a meeting of the Windsor Town Forum, and then, in March 2022, distributed a newsletter to local households confirming that a planning application would be brought forward to open the Adventure Golf attraction in 2023.
This will not be the first mini golf course that the Resort has been home to, with the 18 hole Mole-In-One Mini Golf having operated from 1997 until 2013, when the respective area was redeveloped into Drench Towers. This course had a woodland theme with LEGO models of squirrels, foxes, moles and otters. There are also already outdoor adventure golf courses in operation at other LEGOLAND Resorts, although this development will be the first indoor-based attraction of this type.
As noted above, consultations on this development took place as part of wider discussions on the Resort’s proposals to refresh its Long Term Plan (LTP). Although a LTP was submitted by the Resort back in 2017, delays resulting from a Judicial Review challenge, along with changes to the leisure and tourism market and the impact of COVID-19, have undermined the relevance of the nature of the previously approved projects. Hence, the Resort have obtained separate permission in the interim period for additions such as Haunted House Monster Party and LEGO MYTHICA, and a re-worked and updated LTP is currently being developed. Previous reports have indicated that a new rollercoaster will form part of this revised LTP.
Will you be putting your way around the adventure golf when it opens? Are you excited to hear more about the Resort’s wider future plans? Let us know your thoughts via the Attraction Source social media channels.