This decision means that the options for challenging this planning permission – issued by the Royal Borough of Windsor & Maidenhead (RBWM) in April 2019 – are finally exhausted. Merlin can now proceed to implement the plans which it first applied for in June 2017.
This includes a Holiday Village with lodges in a woodland setting, providing additional on-site accommodation for guests. This will result in more families staying overnight in the Royal Borough, having the time to visit Windsor and support the wider local economy.
Over the past 30 months, Merlin has been unable to proceed with its multimillion investment in the Windsor attraction – as activists sought to overturn the local planning authority’s decision in the High Court, the Court of Appeal and the Supreme Court of England and Wales. Each application made by the activists was unanimously quashed by the Courts.
“We welcome the decision issued this week. This is not before time. It has been hugely frustrating that our approved plans to boost Windsor’s economy have been held up by a third party who did not even object to the development proposals in the first place. In 2018, democratically elected councillors gave their overwhelming support to our vision to transform LEGOLAND Windsor over the ensuing decade. The Secretary of State also gave these plans the green light in 2019. It therefore can’t be right that decisions made by local and national politicians to enable economic growth can be disrupted and delayed by activists, to this extent, through repeated legal challenges with little to no risk of costs sanctions. If the Government is serious about making the UK a more attractive place to invest, it needs to make sure that our planning system is fit-for-purpose. Following this week’s outcome we will be writing to the new Secretary of State for Levelling Up, Housing & Communities, urging him – and his ministerial colleagues – to introduce fundamental changes to prevent a repeat of what we have faced over the past 30 months. Such changes have to happen if the UK is to compete globally.”Merlin Spokesperson
Notes to Editors