A travellers’ site is being planned opposite a new £37m family theme park by Rother Valley.
Planning permission is being sought to create a traveller site with 12 pitches adjacent to the site of the proposed Gulliver’s Valley resort on the Pit House West site to the north of Rother Valley Country Park.
An application has been submitted to build the travellers’ site on vacant land by the A57 at Swallownest to the north of the Pit House West land that has been earmarked for the theme park. It is intended there would be planting around the traveller site to screen it off from view.
A design and access statement in support of the application said: “The site may be accessed without having to pass through towns or villages and is ideally located.
“Rotherham needs a traveller site.”
The controversial proposals have led to an ‘overwhelming number’ of comments from members of the public being submitted to Rotherham Council, whose planning committee will decide on whether to give the application the go-ahead.
A council spokesman said: “Due to the overwhelming number of comments we have had for this application they are not available to view online.
“However, please note that all comments will be taken into consideration before a decision is made.”
Rotherham Council has previously agreed to sell the former Pit House West opencast colliery site to Gulliver’s Family Theme Parks, who currently run parks at Matlock Bath, Warrington and Milton Keynes.
If given the go-ahead, the new theme park resort is expected to create the equivalent of more than 250 full-time jobs and will be called ‘Gulliver’s Valley’.
The resort will be aimed at two to 13-year-olds offering rides, attractions, soft play and indoor fun, centred on themed areas around a main fairytale castle.
It follows previous failed attempts to develop the greenbelt site.
In 2011, leisure organisation China Vision were confirmed as preferred developers for the site to create a Chinese-themed attraction but last year a new partner was sought by the council following a lack of progress with that plan.
A previous proposal for it to be the home of a 5,000-seater arena for the Sheffield Steelers ice hockey team was scrapped.