A scheme to expand PGL Travel’s children’s activity centre at Marchants Hill, Hindhead, were given approval by Waverley’s southern area planning committee.

The plans were given the green light – subject to certain conditions being agreed by PGL – despite an apeal by a residents action group that they should be thrown out.

The application for four new buildings for guests and staff to provide accommodation for 1,038 people, a new classroom, kitchen extension plus enlarging the lake, triggered 43 objections.

Councillors were urged by residents action group’s spokesman not to support the officer’s recommendation and turn down the proposed expansion of the ‘theme park in the trees,’ on the grounds of noise, road safety and ‘industrialisation’ of the Green Belt.

Councillor Peter Isherwood, who represents Hindhead, told the committee PGL was a ‘tremendous supporter’ of Beacon Hill Primary School.

He said: “When heavy lifting is required for Beacon Hill Christmas lights, PGL staff lend the muscle.

“They are good neighbours and they get the younger generation away from their Xboxes to enjoy the fresh air and activities.

“I propose we encourage PGL to repair Cricket Close and avoid its coaches using Beacon Hill Road.”

Committee members objected to the ‘barrack block- style’ appearance of the new buildings, as ‘very disappointing’ in an area of outstanding natural beauty.

They agreed to give the scheme the green light, however, subject to PGL contributing to the cost of two vehicle activated speed signs and repairs to the road in Cricket Close, and by agreeing its vehicles must not use Beacon Hill Road.