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Wednesday, November 3, 1999 Published at 13:40 GMT

UK: Wales

Theme park derailed by planning rollercoaster

Legend Court is claimed as the world's first all-weather theme park

The backers of a controversial scheme to build a giant theme park in south Wales have asked councillors to postpone a special meeting to discuss the plans.

The move comes the day after members of the Newport council's planning committee refused to give the go-ahead for Legend Court.

Members of Newport council's planning committee unanimously rejected plans for the 625m complex at Magor near the town.

The council said the scheme would ruin the environment with no promise that it would generate the jobs and income claimed.

Councillors were told that the Wales Tourist Board and the Welsh Development Agency were in favour of the park, but that they too had their concerns about the projected number of visitors that would be attracted to the site.

The developers have urged the council to delay making a final decision and have asked for more time to prepare a revised business plan

The application was due to be considered by the full council on Tuesday.

Claim of 4.5 million visitors

Councillors in Monmouthshire, which is also affected by the scheme, meet on Thursday to discuss the matter.

Monmouthshire officials are also recommending they refuse the scheme.

The consortium behind the Legend Court development said it would provide a massive economic boost to the region creating up to 5,500 jobs.

But opponents insisted it would create environmental havoc.

World's first all-weather theme park

Proposals to build the giant theme park were first revealed in March 1998.

Legend Court would be the world's first all- weather resort, built on a 1,100 acre site halfway between the Second Severn Crossing and Newport.

The backers of the 625m scheme said it would attract up to 4.5 million visitors a year.

But consultants employed by the local authorities were concerned that the projections were over-optimistic.

Meanwhile objectors insisted such a big development would ruin the environment and lead to massive traffic jams on the M4 motorway and surrounding country lanes.

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