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Project Exodus - New for 2024 (Hopefully)


Mysterio Ka
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For anyone who hasn't seen TPM's latest post: https://thorpeparkmania.co.uk/news/27-04-2022/Project+Exodus+April+2022+Round+Up

 

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As is standard with large planning applications, lots of different parties have to be consulted and give their seal of approval for the statement. Each party will have different specialisms (for example, there are those concerned with waste and drainage, others with how local traffic will be affected, police, Heathrow airport and so on). This is on top of comments from local residents. All of this is used to help the local council reach their decision.
 

As of now, there has been over a dozen pieces of feedback from different parties, with most having no objection. However, there is currently one party who have raised a concern: the Environment Agency (EA). In simple terms, the EA are concerned about the placement of parts of the ride being in a high-risk flood zone, with a roller coaster not being considered appropriate for this area. This concern was raised prior to the full application being submitted, although the planning team working with the resort have responded with clarifications that tackle these concerns. At this stage, it's not clear what this will mean going forward, but we hope that this is just a technical admin thing, and not something which will have any major consequences!

 

In short, there's been some objection to the placement of some of the footers of the coaster. I don't like to speculate too much on things I don't fully understand, but it seems a bit like an oversight from a planning perspective, but something that can be sorted out. Hopefully it doesn't take long to sort out though.

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For anyone who might be interested, recreations of both the Exodus we’re getting and B&M’s bid have been made by Jamie Rogers:

Perhaps controversially; having recently ridden Silver Star and had my love for the B&M Hyper ride type confirmed, I think I prefer the look of the B&M proposal to the ride we’re getting based on those recreations.

 

To me, it looks to have far more of an overt airtime focus than the Exodus we’re getting (while I’m sure Exodus will have airtime, don’t get me wrong, and quite strong airtime at that, I’d be hesitant to call it an overtly airtime-centred layout based on what we know), which would have fitted the UK beautifully, in my view (particularly seeing as the country lacks sustained airtime like B&M Hypers offer far more than it lacks brief airtime, in my view).

 

I also feel that the B&M proposal would have filled more of a gap within Thorpe Park’s lineup; a non-inverting, rerideable thrill coaster in the vein of a B&M Hyper Coaster is something that Thorpe and arguably the UK industry as a whole lacks at present, and Thorpe has no non-inverting thrill coaster aside from Stealth, whereas Exodus, as brilliant as it looks, will ultimately be another variation on a sit-down looping coaster. Granted, I’d imagine it’ll be quite a different variation on this paradigm to Thorpe’s other rides, but it will be a sit-down looping coaster with its elements almost predominantly consisting of inversions, like many of Thorpe’s other rides, all the same.

 

I apologise if this makes me come across as “bitter that my prediction was wrong” or whatever, and I don’t want to imply that I’m not grateful for the ride we’re getting or don’t think it looks great (I think Exodus has an awesome-looking layout, and it’s certainly very unique!), but having now seen this alternative proposal, I do personally think it looks more my cup of tea than the Exodus being built. When I came off Silver Star last week, I’ll admit I did think “wouldn’t it have been great if Thorpe was getting something like this?” (although as I said above, that’s not to say that the Exodus we’re getting doesn’t look great; I’m very excited for it!), and I actually think the proposed B&M Hyper layout looks pretty neat, myself!

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I'd have preferred a B&M hyper too. Frankly, whatever park they get added to, they are an incredible crowd pleaser and would have really hit a market not really catered for at Thorpe or indeed the UK. As marketable as Exodus will be, I personally think it's a shame that something a little more 'safe' wasn't chosen. 

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  • 4 weeks later...

operation eXodus will begin shortly

 

Ding dong, ding dong.

 

The world will see enough of this


And!

 

This will all happen in time                                                                                   .

 

ITSINTHENAME

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On 6/1/2022 at 5:51 PM, Parm Pap said:

operation eXodus will begin shortly

 

Ding dong, ding dong.

 

The world will see enough of this


And!

 

This will all happen in time                                                                                   .

 

ITSINTHENAME

 

Please tell me its not going to be called 'X' 😂

 

OK so X is also 10, or Ten in roman numerals.  Ten and time travel/clocks?  The only hypothesis I have on a name so far is TENET.  Maybe with an IP maybe without.  TENET with trains that have both forward facing seats and maybe a few rows of reward facing seats?  We know there may be a spinning seat similar to ENZO on Icon.  Just some brainstorming, I have no idea really.

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So, there's a new document on the planning application, from the Environment Agency. Basically outlines their current objections to the Project Exodus planning application. 

 

I'm no expert on these things. However, there's a nice summary on CoasterForce from member Hixee (also not an expert, but helped put it in plain and simple terms). I'm going to copy it here as it's a good read:

 

 

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I'm not a flooding or ecology expert, but have seen things like this on projects I've worked on so have tangentially been aware of them.

To break them down, trying to avoid the technical language:
Objection 1: Development is in the 'wrong type' of flood zone. It sounds like this could be sorted out by showing it's not in the 'wrong type' of flood zone. Typically flood zone maps come in a series of levels of detail, so it could just be that they need to submit the more detailed flood zoning maps and show the development isn't in the 'wrong type'.

Objection 2: They can't provide appropriate protection in the event of a flood (this isn't just a case of like "run up the hill", but it's also the effect on the sewers, water supplies, storm water network, etc in the area). It reads as if they claim they have already dealt with this, but just haven't provided the documentation. This could be an easy fix (share the agreement document), but if not it could be a bit trickier depending on the volumes of flood water they would need to attenuate.

Objection 3: The development causes too significant of an impact on the biodiversity. It sounds as if this could be solved with a bit of rejigging of the civil engineering, or by demonstrating (usually by a technical report) how this has already been considered in the proposal.

So all in all - I feel like this could go either way. Either they've done a [somewhat] incomplete application and these things can be solved, or they're stating down the barrel of a major rethink. My guess is the former, but I'm not really a planning, flooding or ecology expert. 

 

I'm also going to copy over my additions to this post, from my understandings of things going on.

 

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Objection 1: Development is in the 'wrong type' of flood zone. It sounds like this could be sorted out by showing it's not in the 'wrong type' of flood zone. Typically flood zone maps come in a series of levels of detail, so it could just be that they need to submit the more detailed flood zoning maps and show the development isn't in the 'wrong type'.

As I understand it, this was bought up previously as a concern. The response from the park (or, more specifically, planning representatives of the park...but just saying "the park" is easier) was that they had a pre-existing agreement that Thorpe can build in these "wrong type" of flood zones, as long as it's done sparingly. The trouble is, this is an opinion from 11 years, and not a hard and fast agreement.

To my knowledge, the coaster does - minimally - go into the 'wrong type' of flood zone. However, I have not got access to the detailed maps, this is again just from my understanding of the documents. It could be that the park believe they aren't in the wrong type at all.

It is stated that the only way this objection can be resolved is showing the development is not in this wrong type of flood zone. If the park can't do that, then there is grounds is reject the application.

HOWEVER, it is down to the council to decide if they uphold that objection and reject it. It is not a guarantee it will be rejected. And if it is not rejected, that is a matter for the council and EA to discuss and deal with, not the park themselves.

Equally, as I've said, I believe the coaster does minimally go into this wrong type of flood zone. As such, it could be possible that minor alterations can be made so it doesn't go into this flood zone (be that changes to the support structure, or to the layout itself). This is something I'll touch on a bit more later.

 

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Objection 2: They can't provide appropriate protection in the event of a flood (this isn't just a case of like "run up the hill", but it's also the effect on the sewers, water supplies, storm water network, etc in the area). It reads as if they claim they have already dealt with this, but just haven't provided the documentation. This could be an easy fix (share the agreement document), but if not it could be a bit trickier depending on the volumes of flood water they would need to attenuate.

I believe the idea here is that the park are leaning on their most recent Mid Term Development Plan (MTDP), which was submitted in 2010, and gave an outline for the park's development strategy between 2010-2016. In (over)-simple terms, they're trying to say "All of the parameters are the same now as they were then, so we have everything submitted, look there". But that might not be enough.

This might also relate in part to something discussed previously, about there being concerns about the buildings associated with the development being below the design flood level. The reason for the design being like this is because they are keeping one building, and making all other buildings the same level as that one. As they have not had issues with flooding in that area before, they don't see any resulting issues happening here.
 

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Objection 3: The development causes too significant of an impact on the biodiversity. It sounds as if this could be solved with a bit of rejigging of the civil engineering, or by demonstrating (usually by a technical report) how this has already been considered in the proposal.

This one seems to have come out of the blue (in that this hadn't been bought up before as far as I know). However, I see this objection has concerns about the infilling process. Thorpe did a LOT of infilling in the 00s/early 10s, and that took a lot of work and discussion to get approved, and included a lot of back-and-forth (more than we're seeing now). This development would be the first time they've done it since then, and I expect that the process has changed, etc. This might not be something the park are fully prepared for.

 

 

 

I think it's fair to say the original application didn't include enough information, regardless of anything. It's also fair to say that this should be expected, given the required infilling. And I believe the park did plan for this - hence the early submission, and the plan for construction to start this autumn, So I don't think the situation of this back-and-forth is unexpected by the park, or a surprise to them.
 

A rethink of the plans could be on the cards. Maybe a redesign of the support structure, or a slight tweak of the layout. Whilst those things take time and money (and by no means are easy!), they could keep the core of Exodus the same. But then again, a major rethink could still be possible.

 

I don't know how long this process could take. If they do have to rethink / redesign the ride, I guess it means a whole new application has to be submitted. Whilst it would be a formality for many of the parties who have already stated they have no objections, this still takes a lot of time and effort. And at that point, you then have to wonder when the ride could be ready. Exodus might not end up cancelled, but could it end up opening later in 2024? Or in 2025? And how much of a knock on effect would that have to the rest of the park's mid-to-long-term planning, and perhaps even Merlin as a whole?
 

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Playing the waiting game now, ultimately it’s up to the planning team to give a response. I’m hoping it’s all due to paperwork and lack of it and once explanation is given then all goes well.

 

If they were to change exodus as we know it right now. Is the 2nd option viable instead? Could they just change to the second layout via slammer?

 

 

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Just now, ML27 said:

If they were to change exodus as we know it right now. Is the 2nd option viable instead? Could they just change to the second layout via slammer?

 

 

I don't think the alternate layout would be viable because it would still be entering the same problematic flood zone area that the current Project Exodus is in. 

 

And if it was, it wouldn't be a simple change. They would have to create an entire new planning application for the ride, doing new visual and sound checks in the process, etc, which would then be scrutinized in the same way. And since it seemed like the alternate shown was a B&M, it would also depend on if B&M could fulfil the project now as well. All of that would almost definitely mean a delay until at least 2025, assuming there were no other problems (which is not a given!)

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Ah I see!

 

I’m very much used to the ease of following Chessingtons new land and coaster. Silly of me to think that Exodus would be as easy as building on an empty field.

 

Any delay wouldn’t be good for Thorpe park. This coaster is so needed, but it’s so easy to just can this idea. 

 

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So - sorry - are we saying that people emailing the council with "come on m8 let em bild The Xodus cos I live local and would be sick and means I dont ave2 go2 Blackpool, kind regards" don't counteract the objections of the Environment Agency? I THOUGHT WE LIVED IN A DEMOCRACY 😡 

 

Simple solution: Scrap Exodus, bring back Old Town as Even Older Town, and bring Slammer back to life.

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  • 3 weeks later...
On 6/9/2022 at 8:59 PM, JoshC. said:

Exodus might not end up cancelled, but could it end up opening later in 2024? Or in 2025? And how much of a knock on effect would that have to the rest of the park's mid-to-long-term planning, and perhaps even Merlin as a whole?
 

 

I think this is a very real possibility - this is quite a unique site to build on, versus say, The Smiler. It's always far messier and more involved when you are demolishing/building next to water. Looking back at The Smiler construction the time from ground clearance completed (and excavations started) to opening day was approximately 10 months - I really would imagine though, that Thorpe would want a start-of-the-season opening for Exodus if at all possible to start the season off with a bang and get momentum going for (fingers crossed) 2024, after so many years of "events" and "experiences".

 

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