Am I the only person who does not think the proposal from Round Table Investments for the world’s largest water park to be built in Newhaven is a good idea?
Anthony Bradbury (Letters November 16) suggests that this will ‘be good for the town by encouraging the development of existing retail outlets and the establishment of new ones’. However whenever I have visited a ‘major tourist attraction’ I always go home afterwards. I don’t go into the nearest town to do some shopping, so how will this lead to more retail outlets? I imagine there are plans for a selection of cafes, restaurants and fast food franchises within the plans, so visitors won’t even be looking for a place to eat.
Mr Bradbury also mentions ‘adequate parking and adequate access’ to the waterpark, the hotel (and the retail unit which will be next to the 400 room hotel so I was lead to believe at the ‘soft launch’ last month) and I too heard about a flyover from the A26 crossing the railway and river just north of the incinerator, but I also heard a rumour about an access road from the A259 which could link up with this flyover, and if true could mean the possible compulsory purchase of land and/or houses in the Valley and Augustfields areas.
Round Table Investment’s estimates of visitor numbers reaching 1,000,000 annually by the second year doesn’t seem to add up. This would be about 2,500 visitors per day, but when looking at the investment and running costs, this number of visitors would represent a very poor return, if anything at all! It therefore seems likely that visitor numbers will have to be much higher, more than double the estimate at least, to make the venture profitable and I have no doubt that the ensuing influx of traffic would lead to travel chaos, particularly on the roads flyover or no flyover! Incidentally, the current world’s biggest water park is in Canada and has a capacity for up to 40,000 visitors per day.
G R Ashbrook