A last ditch effort to save Lightwater Valley has been approved.
Plans for 106 holiday units at the theme park were unanimously approved by Harrogate Borough Council’s planning committee.
Councillors said they were “150 per cent behind the plans” which are expected to benefit Ripon and the Harrogate district as a whole.
Marketing manager Simon Edward spoke passionately about his love for the theme park to the committee.
Afterwards he said: “This is great we are really happy.
“I know a lot of my colleagues have worked very long and hard on these plans, it has been four years in the making.”
He added: “This is just the first of many big announcements to come from Light water Valley.”
Councillors were told the site would provide 54 full-time jobs in the area.
Mr Edwards stressed that the accommodation would not be like Centre Parcs and would instead encourage people to use the facilities in the local area.
He said: “We estimate visitors will spend around one and a half days at the theme park and will visit nearby attractions like Fountains Abbey, Knaresborough and Harrogate.”
Earlier in the week Lightwater Valley director and general manager Mark Bainbridge spoke of his worries about the future.
He said: “This year has been horrendous for outdoor attractions, especially those like Lightwater without accommodation.
“This year we are 12 per cent down on profits, which is the equivalent of 40,000 visitors. We can’t sustain another two years in this kind of business.”
Mr Bainbridge argued that the only way Lightwater Valley could become a sustainable business was by providing overnight accommodation.
He said: “At the end of the day, the theme park model has changed vastly. Unfortunately, all of our competitors have now gone into accommodation and several of them that didn’t are no longer in existence.”
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