Center Parcs, Woburn Forest

Key Facts

Center Parcs, Woburn Forest

PBA helped to secure planning permission for Woburn Forest village, comprising 700 lodges, a hotel, two leisure, sport and retail complexes, lakes and extensive infrastructure, in 350 hectares of woodland.

Following the successful planning outcome, our civil engineering teams carried out detailed design of off-site highway improvements, access to the village and the on-site infrastructure including major earthworks, roads and drainage.

We provided structural and engineering design for the iconic centrepiece of the Woburn development – the “sub-tropical swimming paradise” – a 16,000 sq m pool and leisure building. Due to the curvature of the buildings and pool configurations, the design required creative thinking to allow for the open-plan interior space. 

Center Parcs holiday villages always feature an attractive central sports lake as part of the forested landscape, and so PBA was also commissioned to design a new reservoir. Behind the natural appearance of the reservoir was an 8m high embankment dam engineered from selected site-won material. Water was contained with a robust polymer liner protected against erosion and finished with pre-grown reed mats around the water line. The lake provides carefully balanced surface water attenuation for the development, as well as the opportunity for bio diversity and amenity, with guests able to enjoy water sports from a sandy beach.

The reservoir was designed and constructed to meet the stringent safety standards necessary to achieve certification under the Reservoirs Act and our design was a key feature of the development which beat worldwide competition to be named ‘Best Hotel and Tourism Project’ at the 2015 MIPIM Awards. The Woburn holiday village opened in June 2014.