Alton Towers has submitted a planning application for a £12.5 million indoor rollercoaster.
Documents filed with Staffordshire Moorlands District Council in Leek indicate that the ride could open in 2025.
If approved, the ride would be located adjacent to the Alton Towers Dungeon attraction on a site colloquially known as ‘Coaster Corner’ in the past.
The rollercoaster will be housed within a 19-metre (64-foot) tall building, measuring 71 metres by 46 metres in area.
The floorspace is similar to that of the main facade-fronted section of Blackpool Pleasure Beach’s Valhalla dark ride.
The council have set a deadline of 26 January next year for a decision over planning permission.
Details of the rollercoaster’s design and manufacturer have not been revealed, but its working title is ‘Project Horizon’.
The ride is widely expected to feature innovative new technology following recent comments made by veteran concept designer John Wardley.
The rollercoaster’s theme is also unknown, although documents mention theming features both at the entrance of a new plaza and attached to the ride building itself.
Construction is expected to begin in Spring next year, with an estimated 18-month timeframe for completion.
Planning documents have also revealed that Alton Towers is currently seeing visitor numbers above levels seen before the COVID-19 pandemic restrictions came into effect in 2020.
As previously reported, Alton Towers could potentially revive its famous ‘Secret Weapon’ codename for the marketing of major rollercoasters at the Staffordshire theme park.
If so, it would be the ninth such codename in the series, or Secret Weapon Nine (SW9).
In any case, Alton Towers is likely to try and conceal as much of the ride’s design details as possible prior to its opening.
‘150,000 extra visitors’
The application files state that Project Horizon’s introduction is expected to add about 150,000 visitors to Alton Towers each year.
“It is expected that the construction of the new coaster and ancillary facilities will increase visitor numbers by approximately 150,000 annually,” consultants Lichfields said.
However, overall visitors to Alton Towers are not expected to exceed the 3 million admissions seen in 2010 following the highly successful marketing of the Thirteen rollercoaster.
Consultants LPA said: “It is not anticipated that the introduction of a new rollercoaster will give rise to a demonstrable transport impact.”
An Economic Benefit Assessment Report (EBAR) also said that the total capital expenditure at Alton Towers was only £2.3 million last year.
The EBAR document describes the Project Horizon rollercoaster as representing a capital investment of “approximately £12.5 million”.
Planning documents state that the ride’s building will not have a water supply, seemingly ruling out any type of water ride or effects.