Center Parcs has secured an option agreement to acquire a woodland site in West Sussex for its sixth UK holiday village.
The site – owned by a private owner, represented by Colliers and RH & RW Clutton – comprises 553-acres at Oldhouse Warren, near Crawley. It has been identified as suitable for a Center Parcs village because of its location to the south of London and its excellent transport links.
Center Parcs’ CEO, Martin Dalby, said: “It is really exciting to have identified a potential site for another Center Parcs village in the UK. The proposal we will be submitting will create a significant number of jobs and bring major benefits to the local and national economy.
“Today’s announcement marks the first step of a long journey and there is still a huge amount of work to be done before we can submit a planning application. As a business, we take our responsibility to the local community extremely seriously and look forward to sharing our plans as they progress.”
Brad Hyler, Managing Partner and Head of European Real Estate at Brookfield Asset Management, said: “Center Parcs is the destination of choice for short breaks in the U.K and as owners we are excited to support its expansion with plans for the sixth UK holiday village. We look forward to continuing to work with the Center Parcs team on delivering this exciting development and the economic benefits it will bring to the local area.”
Richard Moss, Head of UK Parks Agency at Colliers, added: “The fact that Center Parcs has secured an option to acquire this site and will be investing significantly in viability work and community engagement ahead of seeking planning permission is another positive indicator for the UK holidays parks sector.
“There has been a surge in demand for holidays featuring high-quality accommodation in idyllic settings, and this is very much epitomised by Center Parcs villages with their sustainable ethos and focus upon environmentally sympathetic design. It has been a pleasure to be involved with the proposed scheme.”
George Back, Senior Director at RH & RW Clutton Property Ltd said: “I have been privileged to represent the clients through this exciting exercise, and working alongside Colliers I believe that we have secured commitments from Center Parcs to further enhance the local environment beyond the boundaries of the village.”
Center Parcs will now undertake rigorous site surveys and pre-planning works to ensure the woodland meets the specific requirements of a Center Parcs village, as well as carrying out a programme of community engagement with a view to submitting a planning application to the local authority in due course.
In line with the other Center Parcs villages, it is intended that the site at Oldhouse Warren will include lodges, a range of indoor and outdoor leisure facilities, a Subtropical Swimming Paradise, a variety of restaurants and shops and an Aqua Sana Spa.
Developing the site is expected to cost between £350 million and £400 million and create approximately 1,500 permanent local jobs once operational and a further 1,000 jobs during construction. The acquisition price for the site is undisclosed.
Center Parcs’ villages are sympathetically designed to blend into the existing landscape, with no visual impact on the surrounding area, and the company is committed to both protecting and enhancing the forests in which their holiday villages are located. Sustainability is at the heart of the Center Parcs ethos and the new village will be constructed and operated in the most sustainable way possible.