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Planners approve Jurassic makeover at Tong Garden Centre
7:30am Wednesday 9th October 2013 in News
Tyrannosaurs, raptors and long-necked behemoths will soon provide a blast from the prehistoric past for Bradfordians after plans for a Dinosaur Park attraction in Tong were approved.
A lake and woodland area at Tong Garden Centre on Tong Lane will be transformed into a land before time complete with animatronic dinosaurs, and the attraction could open as soon as December.
Submitted by former theme park designer Christian Cristobal, plans for Bradford’s own Jurassic Park were approved by planners at Bradford Council yesterday.
It will include a towering Brachiosaurus, one of the largest dinosaurs, although planning conditions mean the long-necked herbivore will have to be slightly shortened so it complies with Council policies.
The plans are for about 24 dinosaurs of all shapes and sizes, some of which will be controlled by visitors.
Mr Cristobal moved to Yorkshire from the Philippines a decade ago and has previously created similar attractions and ghost trains in the Far East. He has already built many of the dinosaurs and even created a mechanical suit that allows the wearer to become a Tyrannosaurus Rex, something which he hinted will be a part of the attraction. He also promised visitors a wide variety of species, including less well known dinosaurs like the Dilophosaurus.
He is in discussions with the garden centre as to when the attraction would open, but hopes it would be in time for Christmas.
Over the summer some of his creations were on display in Ossett’s Trinity Church.
Mr Cristobal said: “I’m happy that it’s been approved. The planning department have been really helpful and I’m looking forward to making it happen. I’m busy building more dinosaurs at the moment. I’m building a Brachiosaurus that is four and a half metres to the shoulder. It was going to be another four metres to the neck but I have to limit it to six and a half metres. It is going to be 20 metres long and people can pass underneath it.
“I’ve currently got a few young artists helping me create them. It is a good learning opportunity for them. At the moment I’ve finished 12. There are going to be ones the kids can operate, so it is quite interactive. I don’t want them to just walk around, they will get to try things out and find out how it feels to look in a dinosaur.”
The attraction will have a dedicated parking area and is expected to create two full time and one part time jobs.
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