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Valley Ridge plans £500 million sustainable resort in Suffolk, UK

Valley Ridge is preparing a planning application for a £500m sustainable resort in a former quarry in Great Blakenham, Suffolk, set to open in 2024.

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Formerly called SnOasis, Valley Ridge Resort comprises 500 lodges and a 450-key hotel, as well as a snow park, water park, wellness spa, outdoor activities, entertainment and F&B.

Chris Hall, a partner at Holder Mathias Architects, spoke about Valley Ridge Resort as part of greenloop’s session on sustainable water parks of the future.

“Valley Ridge is proposing to be a sustainable, carbon neutral development, offering all year round winter and water sports alongside best-in-class leisure and hotel facilities,” said Hall.

“It’s a dramatic combination of manmade and natural landscape,” he added. “The existing quarry forms provide excellent natural positions for the snow park and water park.”

Balancing energy demands at Valley Ridge

“The proposed energy strategy is based around minimising energy demands within the built forms, using efficient systems where required, using appropriate renewable energy systems and offsetting the remaining carbon emissions,” said Hall.

“Our roadmap to zero carbon is based on the proposal to bring forward an all-electric scheme with energy sourced from zero carbon electric supplies.”

Environmental issues are at the forefront of the Valley Ridge project, with plans to minimise energy demands using efficient systems and offsetting remaining carbon emissions.

Preliminary analysis shows that there is potential to balance energy demands by warming the water park and accommodation using excess heat generated at the snow park.

valley ridge resort

“This unique development offers the scope to balance energy demands between the major demand centres of the ski facility, the swim and the accommodation,” said Hall.

“Preliminary analysis shows that there is good potential for the heat demands from the accommodation and the swim buildings to be balanced over the course of a year by the heat rejection from the ski building,” he added.

Valley Ridge is proposing a local district energy network between the buildings at a constant ambient temperature, and peak demands will be dealt with through energy stores.

In addition, rooftops across the project will provide locations for photovoltaics, and solar thermal panels are proposed for the residential lodges. The site will also house woodland, grassland, ponds and wildlife-friendly lighting.

Sustainable snow and water park operations

The water park will boast a rapids ride and wave pool, while snow park plans include toboggan runs, ice caves, an indoor theme park and one of the UK’s longest indoor ski slopes.

Valley Ridge Resort will also house a wellness centre and outdoor activities such as climbing, high ropes, zip wires and archery. It is scheduled to open in 2024, and a planning application is due later this year.

“The project team are determined to deliver our new vision of a family-focused resort offering great entertainment all year round,” said Valley Ridge’s Simon Padgett

“With best-in class winter sports and activities for families – including one of the longest indoor ski slopes in the UK – we are very excited to be bringing these proposals forward.”

Images: Valley Ridge

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Bea Mitchell

A journalist specialising in entertainment and attractions, Bea loves theme parks (mainly Disney) and is particularly interested in things of a gothic, horror or fantasy nature.

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