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BBC Wales' Hefina Rendle
"The biggest concerns are that it would damage the environment and blight the lives of people who live near it."
 real 28k

Thursday, 23 December, 1999, 18:02 GMT
Thumbs down for giant theme park

Legend Court How the state-of-the-art theme park would have looked

People who would have been living in the shadow of a planned gigantic theme park in south east Wales are celebrating after the scheme was turned down by council planners.

Following a full day of discussion in two meetings, Newport councillors rejected plans to build the Disney-style theme park.

Backers of the Legend Court theme park claimed the site would have rivalled Disneyland in Paris and attracted three million people every year as well as creating 4,000 jobs.

But people living near the site of the planned park at Magor, outside Newport said it would have been an environmental disaster.

Legend Court The site would have been built around an historic castle
Campaigner Ian Sanderman said: "We would have lost a lot of good quality landscape.

"One of Wales's historic castles would have lost its historic setting. There are sites of special scientific interest, a national nature reserve.

"It was a nice area, it still is and lets hope it stays that way.

Both the Welsh Development Agency and the Wales Tourist Board had given Legend Court their support saying it would have brought huge benefits to the region and Wales as a whole.

The 625m theme park - billed as the largest in Europe - also had the backing of American money and the plan included developing a film studio.

Members were concerned the giant theme park would fail to attract the three million visitors needed every year to make it a viable development.

There were also doubts whether the project could attract the 4,000 jobs that the consortium claimed would be created.

The biggest concerns were that it would damage the environment and blight the lives of people who live near the site.

"I think in the end nobody actually believed they could develop the site and deliver what they promised," added Mr Sanderson, who was involved in a 21-month campaign against the site.

"In the end a very sensible decision was reached.

"We're very relieved it's all over."

Backers of the Legend Court theme park scheme have declined to comment.

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See also:
18 Dec 99 |  Wales
Theme park faces plans carousel
03 Nov 99 |  Wales
Theme park derailed by planning rollercoaster

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