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Jobs promise at Christmas "spectacular"

Father Christmas and young visitor at Lapland UK
Father Christmas and young visitor at Lapland UK

The owner of a white Christmas experience is promising that this year’s event will be bigger and better.

Mike Battle, managing director of Lapland UK, being staged at Bewl Water, near Lamberhurst, from November 10 to December 24, said it would be "a world class event... spectacular.”

Last year’s event at nearby Bedgebury Pinetum, Goudhurst, was hit by controversy when Mr Battle was criticised by Tunbridge Wells council leader, Cllr Roy Bullock, for for leaving it late to apply for temporary planning permission.

The event was given permission the day before it opened, despite public concerns about highways and ecological issues.

In an aside after the debate, Cllr Bullock said to Mr Battle: “Don’t come back next year,” a reference to the need for future permission.

At a press conference this week, Mr Battle said Lapland UK had planning permission for two years and would create up to 250 jobs.

New attractions this year will include ice skating on a village-style pond and two-course meals served in a log cabin restaurant being built temporarily for the event.

Some customers have been given priority notification about tickets, but the rest go on sale to the public on Monday, September 8.

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