I posted my opinion on Valley Mania, and have lazily put it here, rather than rehashing it here...
I thought this, taking the questions from the outreach document the best way to express my views.
1. What do you like about the ideas proposed?
It's about the right size, certainly as a foot in the water, and huge effort appears to have been made to make it part of the community, not at loggerheads. It is sympathetic to the environment, and APPEARS to have the Theme park as it's USP - not as an afterthought. Should appeal to the Center Parcs market, rather than being seen as you come to the park, you stop at the park. Good riddance to caravans too.
2. Is there anything you dislike?
It's a little bland, if truth be told, and could do with a proper adventure playground for the kids. It could also do with some sort of play on the fact that it is Heritage GB behind it, to give it credentials as a 'place of beauty.' The fear is though it really needs to be put in in tandem with a reason to come, and would imagine that it would be in place by 2014/15, in which case next year is a hugely significant one for the park in needing an attraction of note. I would also hope that FOT and WRR gets some serious hard landscaping with the proximity to the site.
3. What tourist related development would you like to see included with the proposal?
I've said it before, and I will say it again repeatedly - use the Theatre as a year round Exhibition attraction, hosting the likes of the Dr Who, Wallace and Grommit, and Horrible Histories exhibitions, the truth of the matter is though these in their own right could bring in more revenue than the park itself, and crucially be year round. It may also be worth looking at the possibility of approaching the lottery commission to see if the new development could be entitled to lottery funding for some art and culture installations within the resort. Also a serious plan for the village needs addressing; it either needs to be a Food and leisure aspect, or something different entirely. The village does the proposals no favours.
4. Is there anything that we have missed?
Pride in the theme park aspect - yes it's a nice looking project, but it really, really needs make sure it does not chuck the baby out with the bathwater; it needs to remember that it is NOT Center Parcs, Yet. I understand the need to appear to be a relaxed area on the outreach to the local community, but to push the sedate nature in the literature risks putting it in the same grouping in the likes of Butlins in the Nineties - not healthy. Choose your own adventure is the angle personally I'd prefer to see.
5. Do you have any other comments?
Definitely better. Would liked to have seen a handful of the hobbit homes in the proposal too, that would have given it a very unique look. I also worry that it looks too much like a suburban street than a holiday retreat, why personally I think there needs to be a large adventure playground. It is important to the park to also massively think about pushing an all weather message - the wrong sort of day, and the park can feel unpleasant to visit; going back to what I said before about needing an attraction of significance to birth in tandem to the development, it really does need to be an all weather one.