Center Parcs is set to develop its sixth UK holiday village in Southern England
The 553-acres of woodland near Crawley was chosen due to its location to the south of London and its transport links
Center Parcs will now undertake site surveys and pre-planning works to ensure the woodland meets its specific requirements
The development is expected to cost between £350m and £400m
Center Parcs is set to develop its sixth UK holiday village in Southern England.
The company has secured an option agreement to acquire privately owned woodland at Oldhouse Warren off Balcombe Road, Worth, Crawley, West Sussex.
The 553-acres of woodland was chosen due to its location to the south of London and its transport links.
Center Parcs will now undertake site surveys and pre-planning works to ensure the woodland meets the specific requirements of a Center Parcs village, as well as carrying out a programme of community engagement with a view to submitting a planning application to the local authority in due course.
The development is expected to cost between £350m and £400m and create approximately 1,500 permanent local jobs once operational and a further 1,000 jobs during construction.
In line with the other Center Parcs villages, the site is set to feature around 900 lodges, giving the park a capacity of around 4,500 visitors as well as a range of indoor and outdoor leisure facilities, a subtropical swimming facility, a variety of restaurants and shops and an Aqua Sana Spa.
The focus on Center Parcs is on activity and wellness, with bike riding, gym, spa and a wide range of sports and hiking and running trails on offer.
Center Parcs’ CEO, Martin Dalby, said: “It is really exciting to have identified a potential site for another Center Parcs village in the UK.
"The proposal we will be submitting will create a significant number of jobs and bring major benefits to the local and national economy.
“Today’s announcement marks the first step of a long journey and there is still a huge amount of work to be done before we can submit a planning application. As a business, we take our responsibility to the local community extremely seriously and look forward to sharing our plans as they progress.”
Center Parcs currently employs almost 9,000 people across its UK and Ireland operations – which include six villages (five in the UK and one in Ireland) and head office.
Crawley has been hit hard by the pandemic, given its reliance on Gatwick Airport for employment and the Center Parcs project would bring much-needed jobs to the area, while also enabling the new resort to benefit from both the London market and inbound tourist market.
The announcement may have been prompted by a competitive move by Therme Group to enter the UK market. Therme sees demand for up to four major developments
in the UK.
Center Parcs has largely had the market to itself since it launched in 1987.