Work starts on hundreds of homes on former American Adventure theme park site

Construction work has started on delivering more than 200 homes on the former site of a Derbyshire theme park.

By Jon Ball
Wednesday, 30th June 2021, 12:34 pm

Harron Homes says it is “making progress on a collection of 232 family-sized homes” at Shipley Lakeside – formerly home to the American Adventure theme park at Shipley, between Heanor and Ilkeston.

Despite thousands of people signing a petition calling for another theme park on the site, the land is now being redeveloped.

The houses are part of a 44-acre, mixed-use development of homes, a retirement community, neighbourhood centre, hotel and restaurant, garden centre, business space and a health and care campus being built on the site.

Harron said phase one will see it build 48 homes “set up high with incredible views out across the lake” on the former home of the Britannia Park ‘Small World’ Pavilion, which was used by The American Adventure as a maintenance complex featuring workrooms, stores, and staff welfare facilities, including a dining hall.

Phase two will see 124 properties built on the former Alamo and Frisco Wharf areas of the park, where the 200-feet Skycoaster was installed in 2006.

The third and final phase of 60 homes will be built close to the lakeside edge, on the former Thunder Mountain area, which had a fibreglass ‘mountain’ as its centrepiece which partially enclosed both the Log Flume and Runaway Mine Train rides.

Lakeside views

A computer-generated image of a street scene of Harron Homes at Shipley Lakeside.

A Harron spokesman said: “The scheme makes the most of its tranquil and beautiful countryside park setting through enabling access and views to the lakeside and surrounding woodlands.”

John Booth, Harron Homes North Midlands regional managing director, said: “We are delighted to have started work at Shipley Lakeside.

“The site has stood unused for many years and this development will allow us to bring it back into public use by helping to address the housing shortage on a local scale.”

Construction of the new homes is now under way and a showhome is expected to be available to view in September 2021.

Fun on the Log flume splash at The American Adventure in May 1987.

The theme park opened in June 1987 and for many years had a number of white-knuckle rides, as well as a Wild West themed area.

It was rethemed as a family park in 2005, aimed under-14s. However, in January 2007, the owners announced its permanent closure and that the rides would be sold off.

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The American Adventure theme park officially closed in January 2007.