Lapland UK plans go on display

Published: 17 May 2013 10:3010 comments

PROPOSALS for a Lapland experience in Swinley Forest go on display tomorrow (Saturday). This follows an aborted attempt last year when hundreds of people objected to a plan for a Christmas village at a nearby site.

Whitmore Bog, by the junction of Swinley Road and London Road, is the site of the proposed Lapland experience.

Whitmore Bog, by the junction of Swinley Road and London Road, is the site of the proposed Lapland experience.

Lapland UK is renewing its ambitions to establish a winter wonderland in the Crown Estates-owned forest, this time at Whitmore Bog, a commercial part of the forest near the junction of London Road and Swinley Road.

Husband and wife team Alison and Mike Battle, who run a Lapland experience in Bewl Water, Kent, are seeking the feedback from the public before they submit a planning application to Bracknell Forest Council for a three-year stay.

They want to open it from the beginning of December to Christmas Eve, charging from £44.50 per person and creating 250 seasonal jobs. They estimate it will bring £3.5m into the local economy.

The proposals will be on display at The Lavender Golf Club, B3017 Swinley Road, Bracknell, on Saturday, from 10am to 1pm. Representatives of Lapland UK will be on hand to answer questions.

The exhibition will move to The Savill Building at the Windsor Great Park, Englefield Green, from Monday, May 20, to Friday, May 24, between 10am and 6pm, where comment sheets will be available to complete.

Last year Lapland UK withdrew their plan for forest by Buttercup Rise, farther south down the Swinley Road, which was in the Green Belt. Residents were also concerned about extra traffic.

If you go to the exhibition, please let us know what you think by commenting below.

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  • DunMoaning
    71 posts
    May 17, 13:24
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    Why the short notice for Saturday is plans on the web anywhere where we can review in detail.

    Recommend?   Yes 39     No 4

  • DunMoaning
    71 posts
    May 17, 15:30
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    Why do not just leave our nice unruined forest alone. They are haven of peace and tranquilty - why do they not go to an existing unused facility that already has the infrastructure ie access roads, car parks, power, roads, toilets and over amentities.

    Bewl in Kent comes to mind.

    Recommend?   Yes 47     No 10

  • purley96
    1 post
    May 18, 21:52
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    I could not agree more. It is an unspoilt part of Ascot and if you make a concession for December it is the slippery slope. How is the stated financial benefit calculated? In any event the junction at Swinley Road and London Road at t he Foresters is a bottle-neck at the best of times. If they are so well established in Kent then why not remain there?

    Recommend?   Yes 48     No 5

  • DunMoaning
    71 posts
    May 20, 07:49
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    Mr Battle always seem to avoid talking about this.

    Recommend?   Yes 41     No 4

  • angryofascot
    4 posts
    May 21, 13:57
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    I think these proposals are disgusting and even considering the destruction of our lovely forest for commercial gain is unforgivable. We live opposite Whitmore Bog and walk our dog there every day, it is a little piece of heaven and these disgusting people want to cut it all down to create a tacky "winter wonderland". Yep. The plans include cutting massive swathes of young and old trees down to build what is essential a pile of tacky Christmas tripe. Things we had to point out to them, mainly because the spokesperson on the day hadn't even been there!!!:

    1. it is a bog! Any idea what a bog is you fools?? Try walking round there after it has rained.

    2. there is massive amounts of wildlife, plant species and bee hives in there - they had no clue.

    3. the road is a 60mph limit, they tried to deny it - not great with people queuing to get in - plus there is a narrow humpbacked bridge that often only one car can get over at a time.

    4. this is a main commuter route to the M3 wonderful for residents getting to a from work from the beginning of October to the end of January - marvellous!

    I find it unbelievable that these people keep on pestering this area, they tried to get this built last year on the Swinley Road and it was rejected. Please, please let Bracknell Council reject this too.

    Recommend?   Yes 36     No 5

  • pineview
    1 post
    May 22, 00:21
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    I live opposite and apparently Lapland UK wrote to all local residents to advise of the presentation, remarkably only 1 of my neighbours received a letter.

    As others have said,

    1. This is a major bottle neck area, Swinley Road and London Road and Swinley Road A322 they are also accident black spots

    2. Despite best intentions to improve junction safety it is still a treacherous junction where Swinley Road joins Swinley Road.

    3. The proposed access road would surely require a temporary 1 way system causing chaos and severe congestion and inconvenience for local residents at what is always a hectic time on the roads.

    4. The area is full of wildlife including several species of deer, rabbits, bird life and reptiles, grass snakes, adders, slow worms, newts, frogs and toads as well as butterflies and moths.

    5. The bog is an essential part of the local Eco system, what impact will this temporary interference have. Surely the months in between each season is not enough for rejuvenation of shrubs, trees and and other flora and fauna.

    6. This lovely walking area becomes a quagmire in winter or after any rain or snow, I certainly wouldn't want to drive or park my car anywhere over there, the slopes are severe and surely no amount of temporary 'road way' will suffice. Not to mention the impact it will have on the land beneath, temporary or not.

    7. Are Lapland UK going to have a team of 4x4's or tractors on standby to pull trapped vehicles off the site - delaying departures, affecting arrivals and further inconveniencing the locals.

    8. What about the noise and light pollution - this despite the event only being open for 25 days will require months of setting up and dismantling, extending the impact on everyone and everything in the area and on the site.

    9. There is talk of adding millions to the local economy, was this the case in Kent? If so why are they moving surely a successful business builds on its success not flees from it? If the roads get congested as they are likely to, local businesses will suffer as not only will visitors want to get away and home with their children after long days but locals will not venture out due to increased traffic and the length of time it takes to get anywhere. You only need to consider Ascot race days and the congestion that creates and the impact during the summer that visitors arriving and leaving Legoland has on traffic travelling to Windsor.

    As you can gather I am not in favour!

    Recommend?   Yes 34     No 3

  • lilacsam
    3 posts
    May 24, 21:02
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    Myself and my family use these forest areas on a regular basis. I do not think our royal estate forest's should be up for "hire" for businesses. Clearly, these individuals who want to bring this proposal here, do it just to make money... it's not for Father Christmas, it's not because they love our children, it's because they make vast sums of money out of public forestry. Wildlife live and nest there, and to evict them from their homes just because someone wants cheap plastic reindeer and drifts of fake snow to the beautiful surroundings, is disgusting, and simply vulgar. family's need to make their own fun at Christmas, and stop relying on others pre-paid activities to occupy their bored children. Get off your backsides and use some creativity. As far as i'm concerned, our ever decreasing forests of Bracknell are not for hire.

    Recommend?   Yes 26     No 1

  • angryofascot
    4 posts
    Jun 9, 20:27
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    The planning application is now live on the Bracknell Planning website - go and object NOW!!

    (From Bracknell News): Here's the link:

    Recommend?   Yes 12     No 0

  • DunMoaning
    71 posts
    Jun 10, 07:35
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    Can you give link or planning application reference.

    Recommend?   Yes 3     No 0

  • ResidentandRatepayer
    1 post
    Jun 13, 10:50
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    Planning Reference is 13/00428/T - log on to register opinion before June 25th

    Case Officer Paul Corbett 01344 351199

    suggest you contact Parish Councillors too on 01344 885110

    (oh the parish council are having a special planning meeting on Tuesday June 18th at 7.30 which i presume we can attend)

    The B3017 is a fast cut through to the M3. Often there is stationery traffic with frustrated drivers. The road is simply not designed or safe enough to permit this increase in traffic. The purported number of jobs on offer will mostly go to uni students I expect and not help those in need of permanent work (unless LUK hope to develop the site for summer attractions too - god and the council forbid). Furthermore the company went into administration in Kent so is this a good omen?

    As residents locally we will not 'pop' out for christmas shopping in Bracknell or nip to Budgens - it will effect local, loyal trade which businesses need throughout the year.

    Like others, I believe it is a shame that the Crown Estate can consider this - if they want to make money offer Windsor Great Park where road systems exist and traffic can disperse before reaching any road junctions - yet fake snow will still have a forest back drop.

    Recommend?   Yes 16     No 1