Pugneys' 'Center Parcs' grand plans finally killed off as company behind unpopular idea is dissolved

Any lingering hopes of transforming Pugneys into a Center Parcs-style holiday destination look to have finally ended, after the company behind the idea was dissolved.

Tuesday, 11th January 2022, 9:09 am
Updated Tuesday, 11th January 2022, 9:10 am

Pugneys Park Lodges Ltd caused uproar among residents when it first proposed building almost 100 holiday homes on the city's beauty spot in 2018.

The plans were then rejected by Wakefield Council in December 2020.

However, the private limited company - which was registered in the Gawber area of Barnsley in July 2017- was struck off from Companies House last week, meaning it can no longer continue as a business.

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The locals enjoying Pugneys during the summer months.

The news is the final nail in the coffin for the plans, and is certain to be welcomed by the 120 people who wrote to Wakefield Council at the time to object.

Pugneys Park Lodges Ltd had wanted to build 74 high-quality timber lodges and an additional 24 accommodation pods.

They wanted to build a gym, spa and restaurant in the park, and were looking to boost the 700,000 annual visitors to the park by improving water-sport facilities.

A statement on behalf of the applicant said it could help Pugneys become like Center Parcs, which runs hugely-successful holiday destinations across the UK and Europe.

Water sports were high on the agenda for the company behind the plans.

It read: "The accommodation model seeks to emulate, but on a much smaller scale, the principles employed by other operations, such as Center Parcs.

"Short stay holidays or breaks in the UK are becoming increasingly popular, and a strong and vibrant potential source of income for a local economy.

"The physical opportunities at the park are enormous and can rival national facilities anywhere in the UK.

"This lodge park provides a unique opportunity to offer accommodation and it would be a clear statement of intent to reinvigorate Pugneys Country Park to realise its full potential."

Wakefield Council had initially agreed to lease the land, but due to its classification as green belt, it would mean exceptional reasons are required for any development to be given the go-ahead.

But the council agreed that the plans failed to “respect and enhance” the natural surroundings, and criticised Pugneys Park Lodges Ltd for not providing adequate details for traffic management and pedestrian safety.

However, the general public was more scathing in its assessment.

One wrote: “Other than very short term financial gain for the council how would the area benefit from vandalising one of the few truly beautiful areas accessible to the public?”

“We pay a small fortune to live in the area via council tax and a walk around Pugneys in the peace and quiet makes it worthwhile.

“I have no wish to walk around a Butlins camp on a Sunday afternoon.”

Another said: “Who wants to come on holiday to Wakefield? Is there really the demand for people to come here?”