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Thu June 17 2021

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Traffic concerns hold up North Kent theme park planning application

3 Jun 16 The developers planning to build a £2bn theme park in North Kent to rival Disneyland are going back for a fifth round of public consultation rather than submit a planning application this year.

London Paramount Entertainment Resort
London Paramount Entertainment Resort

Kuwaiti merchant Abdulla Al Humaidi plans to build the London Paramount Entertainment Resort on the Swanscombe Peninsula between Gravesend and Dartford. His London Resort Company Holdings (LRCH) has a licensing agreement with Paramount film studios to use films such as Mission Impossible and Star Trek as themes for amusement park rides.

The revised timetable envisages a planning application being submitted sometime in 2017. Target open date of 2021 is therefore beginning to look rather ambitious.

London Paramount chief executive David Testa said: “While we had hoped to have submitted an application by now, it is much more important to ensure the evidence base is robust and comprehensive to maximise the prospects of success, which means the preparation time is longer.  The funds are in place to take this project through the planning process.”

Traffic and transport are proving a particular challenge, he said, and work is continuing on traffic modelling. The park expects to receive 15 million visitors per year when fully established.

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He said: “We received a wealth of feedback at our consultations last year which, along with new information from further studies we have conducted in the area, has allowed us to refine our masterplan. We were always conscious that there was a need to share more detailed information in relation to transport and ecology and we’ve been working hard on those reports.

“We have decided that, given some of the changes we are making to the masterplan, we should hold a further round of public consultation on the updated information. This decision comes as part of our continued dialogue with the Planning Inspectorate and local authorities in Dartford, Gravesham and Kent, and the Ebbsfleet Development Corporation. Following the further consultation events, we intend to submit our application to the Planning Inspectorate in 2017.”

The additional consultation events will represent the fifth stage of community engagement carried out by LRCH, which has already seen more than 8,000 people attend.

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