Plans to construct a new £100 million theme park that would celebrate Chinese culture near Rotherham in the UK have been opposed by local campaigners.
The Yorkshire Post reports that the Campaign to Protect Rural England (CPRE) is battling the proposals, which would see a former opencast coal mine next to Rother Valley Country Park converted into the tourist attraction. The group previously succeeded in ending plans for a £250 million leisure scheme known as the YES! project.
The CPRE is quoted in the report as saying that the Visions of China theme park would be "even worse" than the previous plans, as it would not fit with the character of the surrounding area. The backers of the project have previously revealed that it would feature a range of Chinese-themed elements, including a Shaolin Pagoda, a hotel and a "wellbeing centre".
The proposed site for the theme park already has outline planning permission for a large leisure scheme (the YES! complex), but the CPRE claims that MCD developments (the firm behind the new plans) should have to reapply. This would enable objectors to have their say on the proposals.
Rotherham council hopes that Visions of China will help attract as many as 1.5 million visitors a year, and has already given its initial backing to the scheme. Full proposals are yet to be submitted.