A plan for the former American Adventure site is set to be submitted within months – but campaigner Declan Salmon won’t be happy unless those plans include bringing back the popular park.
Determined Declan set up an online petition over a year ago in a bid to raise support for the return of a theme park to Derbyshire.
The 19-year-old said he was ‘blown away’ by the amount of people backing the bid – the total at present stands at 7,471 supporters – a mere 29 away from the 7,500 mark.
He plans to present the petition to Amber Valley Borough Council for consideration in June.
He said: “I have had a lot of supportive feedback from people saying they want their kids to experience the place as they did. I just loved everything about it and so many people want it back it’s unreal – Derbyshire really needs something like this. We just need someone to help us achieve it.”
The teen took a trip to the derelict site near Shipley last week, the first time since its closure, and said it was a far cry from his childhood memories.
“It felt very eerie and empty – not at all like the fond memories I had of visiting a loud and busy adventure park full of fun and families when I was younger.
“It would be such a shame to not see the return of an adventure park, but if this doesn’t happen then I would suggest a country park. It would be nice for the area, would preserve some of the countryside and still serve as a place of entertainment for families – just a different type of entertainment – walking, hiking and enjoying nature.
“My honest opinion is that it would be pretty ridiculous and pointless to use the site for housing. There is a beautiful lake, which should serve as a focal point – but it’s not ideal for housing, it could lead to flooding and chaos.”
But much to Declan’s dismay, the plans approved for 300 homes on the site mean it could be as soon as 2018 that the old amusement park is replaced with the Shipley Lakeside development.
The council confirmed that a plan for developing the site was set to be submitted within months.
In July 2015, it was reported that proposals to build up to 307 homes and business, leisure and retail units at the site had been unanimously approved by Amber Valley Borough Council.
Now the authority has said “things are still moving forward” and the agents for the site, with the intention of submitting an application in either the late summer or early autumn.
A council spokesman confirmed: “The planning department have said that things are still moving forward.
“The agents are looking to get a developer on board and intend to submit an application late summer/early autumn.”
The latest proposal was the third time Waystone Developments had presented planning documents to the council to develop the plot.
The two previous proposals were thrown out. The development of the 112-acre plot could include a hotel, pub or restaurant, health centre and garden centre as well as a retirement village.
For more information or to sign the petition visit: www.change.org/p/derbyshire-county-council-rebuild-and-reopen-the-american-adventure-theme-park.