Swinley Forest Lapland plans put on ice
September 13, 2012
Plans to bring Lapland to Swinley Forest have been postponed after a storm of protest.
Mike and Alison Battle, owners of LaplandUK, announced yesterday they had put back plans to relocate the winter wonderland from Kent to Crown Estate land in Winkfield.
They say the delay was to ‘allow more time for public consultation’.
Mr Battle said: “After reviewing the response to our planning application for a temporary children’s Christmas event we are concerned that there seems to be a number of misunderstandings with some of the community regarding the nature of our event and its perceived impact on the local area – we regret this.
“It is important to us that the community fully understands the true nature, quality and impact of LaplandUK.
"To this end we think it is only right that more time should be given to discuss our plans and consult with those living near the site to address these misunderstandings.
“To give ourselves this time, we have decided to remain in Bewl Water, Kent, for the 2012 Christmas season.
"I’d like to take this opportunity to apologise for any disappointment to the many families in the Windsor area who expressed interest and support and hope to see you in Kent later in the year.”
Plans for the attraction, billed as Father Christmas’ Arctic Homeland complete with a toy factory, shop and restaurant, enraged residents who claimed it would wreck the forest and cause traffic jams.
A No Lapland in Swinley Forest Facebook page was formed and Mr Battle faced more than a dozen protesters when he attended a meeting of Winkfield Parish Council on September 4.