Update: Welwyn Garden City water park plans suffer major setback

A WATER adventure park, set to be one of the biggest in the country, has suffered a major blow. A new-look Splashlands was due to 'put Welwyn Hatfield on the map'. However, this week it was revealed the project was potentially unviable and over budget by

A WATER adventure park, set to be one of the biggest in the country, has suffered a major blow.

A new-look Splashlands was due to "put Welwyn Hatfield on the map".

However, this week it was revealed the project was potentially unviable and over budget by �2m, sending the planners back to the drawing board.

The wet play area was proposed for derelict wasteland at Stanborough Park, WGC - the former site of the Splashlands pool.


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But costs for the project have rocketed to more than �4m and plans have now been drastically downscaled, the borough council's social overview and scrutiny committee learned on Thursday.

Head of estates Mike Storey told the committee the site was potentially unfeasible due to the high number of visitors it could attract - thought to be more than 123,000 a year.

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This level, he said, would "bring Stanborough to a halt".

He added a further 12 to 15 surveys were being commissioned to identify the next steps.

These would be reported back to the committee in June.

Tory councillor Irene Dean said it was a "sensible" way forward.

But speaking to the WHT afterwards, Lib Dem councillor Louise Lotz hit out at the news.

She said: "The project is a victim of its own success, a monument to Tory incompetence. Could no one see that they were over-reaching themselves from day one?

"Our kids are growing up with nothing to do.

"How much longer do we have to wait until the town has something for young children? A whole generation is losing out."

A council spokeswoman told the WHT issues about overspending on the project initially arose last summer.

She said: "The council has set aside �1.5m for the redevelopment of Splashlands and the council is keen for the project to remain within this budget."

* Are our youngsters losing out due to a lack of this water park? Or should WGC have a proper swimming pool? Email your views to whtimes@archant.co.uk

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