Dinosaur park extinct

Artist Christian Cristobel's plans for a dinosaur attraction were refused.
Artist Christian Cristobel's plans for a dinosaur attraction were refused.

Plans for a prehistoric tourist attraction have been turned down by a planning 
committee.

But a councillor has said he would like to see the Jurassic Park-style dinosaur sculptures come to the area – just not on green belt land.

Charlotte’s Ice-cream Parlour in Whitley was hoping to open a themed walk-through garden at the Meadows this summer, after being approached by dinosaur creator Christian Cristobal.

The plan provoked a mixed response from residents – 10 representations were made against the proposals and two letters plus a petition with 283 signatures were received in favour. Critics said the plans, which included a 2.3m high mammoth model, would have had ‘an intrusive impact upon the openness and character of the green belt.’

The site already houses a small adventure playground, farm animals, a crazy golf course and a mini-train.

Committee chairman Coun Paul Kane said: “We all thought it was a step too far. There’s been so much development in the green belt up there already. We didn’t feel comfortable with it.

“One of the issues was how it would look from down in Mirfield. It would be highly visible.”

However he and Coun Cathy Scott praised Mr Cristobal’s innovative dinosaur designs.

Having moved to Ossett from the Philippines in 2006, Mr Cristobal started making the creatures when he struggled to find work so he could start his own business as a feature act for birthday parties and other events.

Coun Kane said: “On the upside we are all supportive of what he is trying to do. I said we would love to see that coming to Dewsbury in some sort of way but not in that area.”

Mr Cristobal said: “It’s a shame we cannot do it but I can’t do anything about it.

“It’s just bad that the space was in the green belt – you have to respect everybody’s opinion.”

Councillors are now planning talks with Mr Cristobal which could see dinosaurs roaming in another part of Dewsbury, possibly on a temporary basis.