‘Center Parcs’ vision set out for Wakefield’s Pugneys Country Park

VISION: It is hoped Pugneys could be like Center Parcs.
VISION: It is hoped Pugneys could be like Center Parcs.

Developers have outlined ambitious plans to build an all-inclusive holiday destination at Pugneys Country Park - boldly claiming it could even become Wakefield’s own version of Center Parcs.

Blueprints have been submitted to Wakefield Council to build a gym, spa and restaurant in the park, which would service almost 100 holiday homes being proposed.

GRAND VISION: Water sport is part of the key vision to transform Pugneys.

GRAND VISION: Water sport is part of the key vision to transform Pugneys.

This includes 74 high-quality timber lodges and an additional 24 accommodation pods.

Applicant, Pugneys Park Lodges Ltd, says it could significantly boost the park’s annual 700,000 visitors, while promoting open-air sports and water sports.

A statement on behalf of the applicant says it could help the park become like Center Parcs, which runs hugely successful holiday destinations across the UK and Europe.

It reads: “The accommodation model seeks to emulate, but on a much smaller scale, the principles employed by other operations, such as Center Parcs.

“Short stay holidays or breaks in the UK are becoming increasingly popular, and a strong and vibrant potential source of income for a local economy.

“The physical opportunities at the park are enormous and can rival national facilities anywhere in the UK.

“This lodge park provides a unique opportunity to offer accommodation and it would be a clear statement of intent to reinvigorate Pugneys Country Park to realise its full potential.”

The plans show the holiday lodges would be divided into cul-de-sac zones, while the gym/spa and 60-seater restaurant would be the central ‘hub’ of the scheme, built around a central courtyard.

The idea for the plans were first suggested last year when it was agreed that Wakefield Council would lease the land to the applicant.

However, a major stumbling block could be the land’s classification as green belt, meaning exceptional reasons are required if there is any hope that the development will be given the go-ahead.

But the applicant argues that providing a “bespoke visitor facility, supporting and developing open-air recreation is considered to constitute very special circumstances.”

The plans will be discussed and decided by Wakefield Council’s planning committee at a later date.