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Thorpe Park introduces Hyperia, the UK’s tallest and fastest rollercoaster ride – Lichfields reaches new heights to land planning permission

Thorpe Park introduces Hyperia, the UK’s tallest and fastest rollercoaster ride – Lichfields reaches new heights to land planning permission

The planning green light given for the UK’s tallest and fastest rollercoaster is to become a reality for visitors to one of the country’s leading theme parks as Thorpe Park gets set to launch Hyperia to the public next month (24 May 2024).

The new £18 million, 236ft height ‘Hyperia’ ride, will offer visitors a nerve shredding experience. The new ride soon to launch at Thorpe Park – Surrey on the outskirts of London, by operator Merlin Entertainments, was supported by planning and development consultancy Lichfields.

Set to open to the public on 24th May 2024, the eponymous ride inspired by the fearless Greek goddess Hyperia, will allow up to 20 riders per train to experience a new level of excitement and speed as they hurtle around the 995m-length track at speeds of over 80 mph and reaching heights of 236ft!

According to an economic impact assessment, upwards of 123 seasonal and 31 full-time jobs could be created when it opens in May. Thorpe Park is expected to see an economic uplift on the back of a significant increase in visitors keen to enjoy the new rollercoaster ride.

Approval for the project secured by Lichfields, is explained by planning director Hannah Whitney, as an important project for the park’s operator Merlin Entertainments, to enable them to keep ahead in a competitive leisure sector.

She said: “New rides and attractions are the lifeblood of the theme park industry. We built a compelling case for the ‘Hyperia’ ride, working closely with the local authority to show the need for investment at Thorpe Park – a green belt location – and its long-term benefits. We have drawn extensively on our experience and expertise to deliver an impactful planning case to secure that approval.

“It also reflects our ability to handle sensitive leisure developments and get them over the line, working in close cooperation with both local planning authorities and sector developers. It’s experience that can be shared on further big projects as other sector operators look to invest in their infrastructure and assets.”

Lichfields advising on major leisure and visitor attraction projects for over 40 years,  continues to advise Merlin Entertainments to develop the Thorpe Park site in the future and ensure its success in the theme park arena.

Neil Poulter, Divisional Director at Thorpe Park said: “We’re delighted to be launching the UK’s tallest, fastest and most weightless ride which has been years in the making. Despite the site’s planning constraints, Lichfields worked with the Park’s Management team and wider design team to deliver a planning permission that has allowed us to add to our other record-breaking rides.”

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BDC 317 : Jun 2024