By Gary Smee 23/08 Updated: 23/08 12:47
A MAJOR expansion of Evesham Country Park has been given the green light by Wychavon District Council.
Children's adventure playgrounds, 60 holiday lodges, a play barn and skate park will be just some of the new features at the Twyford based centre when the project is completed in summer 2014.
The aim of the park's owners, Eagle One Country Shopping Ltd, is to create a major new tourist and leisure centre and the 125 acre site will also include new wetland habitats and a nature reserve, nature trails and cycle paths along with better angling opportunities on newly created lakes and the river.
Visitors will be able to enjoy a series of themed zones based on nature, fun and learning, angling and lifestyle and leisure.
The park's links to the town centre are also set to be improved with better pedestrian, bus and river routes.
Centre bosses are hoping the anticipated increase in visitor numbers will create significant benefits for Evesham's economy and the wider area.
Throughout the park there will be an emphasis placed on healthy outdoor activities, people can learn about the area's agriculture, landscape and ecology and schools and colleges will be encouraged to get involved with numerous activities.
Simon Tothill, from Eagle One, said: "We are delighted that we can now move forward with a fully consented scheme which will make a positive contribution to the vibrancy and well-being of the town and Wychavon generally.
"We have worked closely with Wychavon District Council in evolving our plans and achieving the best possible design and look forward to delivering an exciting scheme which we believe is unique in its offer within the UK.
"The new development will significantly increase the number of people visiting both the Country Park and Evesham.
"The next stage is to secure exciting retail and leisure occupiers to the scheme and we hope to be in position to start on site in early 2013 to enable the new facilities to be open in summer 2014.
"In the meantime and throughout the construction period, our hugely successful offer at Evesham Country Park will remain open and our garden centre and shops are very keen to welcome new and existing customers."
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