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Rollercoaster can remain in park

15 December 09 16:25 GMT

A theme park can keep a multi-million pound rollercoaster which could have been demolished after its owners failed to apply for planning permission.

The Cobra at Paultons Park, near the New Forest, could have been pulled down along with a second ride, the Edge.

But at a committee meeting, retrospective planning permission was approved after a unanimous vote.

Paultons Park said it was still considering what action to take regarding the future of the Edge ride.

The authority gave permission with the condition that none of the trees which currently shield the Cobra are removed.

Noise levels

The Edge, which cost £1m to build, opened to the public in March this year but the £2m Cobra rollercoaster was opened in March 2006.

Both structures were built beside the existing theme park, but on land that is officially designated within the New Forest Country Park.

The New Forest Country Park planning development control committee previously rejected an application in October.

At the time councillors had said that it was the Edge ride that they particularly objected to.

Some residents campaigned for the rollercoasters to be removed due to noise levels.

Andrew Orchard, who lives nearby, said that up to 40 people reach the "peak of screaming" at the same time, while riding the Edge.

He said residents will object if that too went to appeal.

"It was refused initially on noise levels and if indeed that does go to appeal... clearly local residents will be in force to once again object strongly to that."

Councillor Maureen Holding said that when she visited the site the sounds from the motorway could be heard above those coming from the rollercoaster.

She added: "My feeling is that it will help the economy, it will help young people to have something to do.

"When we went to the site I couldn't hear noise, the birds you could hear, the motorway was noisier, I feel that it's a great help to the whole ethos of the park."

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