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Development could create 50 jobs
A £6MILLION sky-diving and skiing development at Basing-stoke Leisure Park has been given the go-ahead by borough councillors.
Specialist company Airkix, which has two similar facilities in Milton Keynes and Manchester, will now set about building the facility, which bosses believe could attract around 95,000 people a year and create 50 jobs.
It will be built on two existing car parks and could be open as early as Easter next year.
The complex will include a “freefall” indoor wind tunnel in which the jet of air suspends the gravity-defying “sky-divers”, along with a Skiplex indoor skiing simulator and a drive-through coffee shop.
Plans for the scheme were approved by the borough’s development control committee on Tuesday night. The only points of debate concerned car parking and traffic.
The new building, which will be sited on borough-owned land, will result in the net loss of 63 car parking spaces and generate more traffic.
But officers said the developer would have to contribute to road improvements, and new signs would encourage better use of currently under-used parking areas.
Alastair Bell, of Vermillion Estates, the project’s development partner, told the meeting: “Airkix is an exciting project that has done wonders for the promotion of Milton Keynes and Manchester, and hopefully, it will do the same for Basingstoke.”
In response to questions about providing for the disabled, Simon Ward, chairman of Airkix, said his company had “done an awful lot for the disabled” and had strong links with several Forces disability charities.
And he said the facility would bring in plenty of business. He said: “We will attract skydivers from around the world. Have we done our research? Yes we have.”
Committee member Cllr Jane Frankum said: “This is a very exciting project.”
At the company’s Milton Keynes facility, the price of an off-peak sky-diving flight starts at £29.99.