In spring 2018, Thorpe Park Resort will open a brand new, 250-room hotel on the former CEMEX Chertsey site. The waterside-styled accommodation will represent a development and construction process of over a decade long, and will also include a restaurant, bar, health club and conference facilities.
These accommodation plans for Thorpe Park Resort is the latest in a long term plan to install a permanent form of accommodation. Initial outline plans were originally submitted back in August 2006, however these were not approved until the June of 2011. Later in 2011 the resort submitted a minor amendment to gain permission to develop the hotel in two phases and this was approved in August 2013. After gaining this approval Thorpe Park Resort held a public exhibition allowing local residents to express their opinions on the new development. Responses from this exhibition were positive, with many residents supporting the development and the benefits it would bring to the area.
In recent years, the resort has also invested in temporary accommodation, with the Crash Pad, and most recently, the Thorpe Shark Hotel, with the aim demonstrating that there is a demand for the planned permanent accommodation on site.
Ultimately, the new accommodation aims to transform the resort into a short break holiday destination whilst creating hundreds of new jobs in the local area, with 430 direct and indirect jobs being created during construction, and 310 jobs being created in the new hotel itself when complete. Work is expected to commence in the summer of 2016, with a provisional opening date of spring 2018.
Located on the former CEMEX Chertsey plant site, the new hotel will be feature a waterside theme in-keeping with its lakeside location and existing character of the theme park. Utilising locally sourced materials, the hotel will use a colour scheme which will complement the waterside setting, with beige, white, pine, and blue grey just some of the colours mentioned in the most recent plans.
The hotel will be structured around a central reception area which will be accessed from an elevation facing the car park. This central area will then open into the bar and restaurant (forming the eastern wing), which in turn will open onto the lakeside terrace area. As part of this terrace area a shingle roofed jetty will provide a pick up point for a boat link to the theme park resort. The western wing of the hotel will comprise the main accommodation area and will house the 250 planned bedrooms. Finally, the health club and conference facilities will extend from the front of the building towards the car park area.
Careful consideration has also been given to the landscaping of the area in order to maintain and increase the bio-diversity of the area. A detailed scheme has been devised to enhance the existing landscape using native trees and shrubs, and to minimise the visual impact of the development using perimeter and structural planting. Included in this scheme are three distinct plans:
- A lakeside buffer zone – this will be managed to encourage wildlife and will include the creation of a grass snake habitat and sand martin bank.
- A grass and wildflower meadow to be planted along the edge of the lake.
- The use of exotic species at the entrance to the hotel – these will be used to enhance the arrival experience of guests through the creation of colours, forms and smells.
In early May 2016, Thorpe Park Resort submitted an application for a Lawful Development Certificate for the preliminary works carried out on the site which included “pegging out of part of the access road” and “the digging of part of the foundations trench”. The application included the following photos showing the works described.