Bradford might soon get its own Jurassic Park.
A planning bid has been submitted to Bradford Council to create a “dinosaur visitor attraction” in woodland at Tong Garden Centre in Tong Lane that would include animatronic prehistoric beasts.
The application comes from Ossett-based Christian Cristobal, a former theme park designer who moved to Yorkshire from the Philippines a decade ago.
After years working as a landscape artist he felt the urge to return to his roots, and create an attraction that allows children to walk the dinosaur trail with replica beasts from the Jurassic and Cretaceous periods.
Mr Cristobal has promised a wide variety of dinosaurs in the park, and not just the usual suspects.
To access the new dino land, visitors will walk through a large Jurassic Park-style gate.
Mr Cristobal has submitted the application in conjunction with the garden centre, and hopes that children will learn about the prehistoric beasts as well as just having fun. He said the attraction could be used for school trips.
The park would use existing trees and a fish pond at the garden centre, but add new paths and model dinosaurs up to four metres tall.
For years Mr Cristobal has produced high-quality dinosaur models, and even has created a mechanical suit that allows him to become a Tyrannosaurus Rex His previous scheme for a dinosaur theme park in Whitley, Dewsbury, was turned down by the council because it would have been on green belt – which Tong Garden Centre is not.
He already has many of the dinosaurs built – the rubber skinned animatronics use hydraulics to move when triggered by a motion sensor.
The artist, who has worked to create similar attractions and ghost trains in the Far East, said: “It will be good for the people of Bradford. Since moving to England I’ve done landscape architecture, but I wanted to build by own attraction.
“There is a lot of potential for the project. I hope it will create more jobs and will be a good activity for children.
“Not much has changed regarding tourist attractions in the past few years, this will be something new. We have a full sized mammoth, a full sized T Rex, there will also be dinosaurs people are not familiar with. We didn’t just want to go with ones like raptors.”
On part of his application form, under the section that asks what features will be included on the site, Mr Cristobal has said: “Dinosaurs.”
He predicts the attraction will create two full time and one part time job, with visitors accommodated in the garden centre’s existing car park.
Bradford Council is expected to decide on the application in late October.