Almost 10 years on from the opening of The Swarm at Thorpe Park, the Resort now have plans to add what is set to be the UK’s tallest rollercoaster. Likely to open for the 2024 season, the flagship new ride will be located in the area that has historically been Old Town, principally replacing Logger’s Leap following its closure in 2015.
Shortly following the commencement of the public consultation, the Resort also submitted a request for a formal Environmental Impact Assessment Screening Opinion to the local authority. An applicant is only required to prepare a full EIA where the respective project is likely to have significant effects on the environment. The purpose of this submission was therefore to seek agreement with the Resort’s assessment that an EIA would not be required. Much of the detail included in the submission reflected what had been disclosed as part of the consultation process. However, there was some additional detail in respect of the lake infilling that this would be required for the purposes of construction and part or all of this infill was likely to be retained permanently to house footings for the new rollercoaster – a plan was provided to identify the likely maximum infill required. Zone of Theoretical Visibility modelling of the proposed rollercoaster was also included, along with specific clarification of the structures that would be demolished.
In December 2021, the Resort commenced a four week public consultation on the proposed new rollercoaster, providing a first look at the prospective development. Concept images released show the ambitious scale of the attraction, which is set to reach a maximum height of 236 feet / 72 metres. The initial plans indicated that the station will be situated on the former Canada Creek Railway station building. The layout of the rollercoaster stretches either side of the lake, and features an outward banked curve out of the station, a steep lift hill, steeper first drop, overbanked turns, inversions, airtime hills, and a splashdown element. Although the Resort stated that they were still in discussions with multiple manufacturers, the style of track depicted and elements featured suggest Mack Rides, Gerstlauer or Intamin as likely choices.