Battle over London theme park continues

London Resort theme park battle
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The London Resort’s updated environmental statement has been delayed until the end of November, ten months after the initial application for the project.


London Resort Company Holdings (LRCH), the developer of the proposed theme park and resort in Kent, was granted the four-month delay to allow the firm to address ecological concerns surrounding the Swanscombe Peninsula’s recently awarded Site of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI) designation.

An opponent of the project, Merlin Entertainments, told the Planning Inspectorate in a 28 July letter that the bid should now be resubmitted. The theme park operator contends the amount of new information to be presented will amount to a “material change” to the initial bid.

However, the planning panel has said it will look at new documents “as and when they are submitted” before deciding whether they amount to a material change.

Earlier this year, Natural England granted SSSI status to the marshland between Dartford and Gravesend. While the status does not prevent development on the site, it does put further demands on developers.

The SSSI designation was challenged by the London Resort in July, with the firm describing the decision “unreasonable and unjustified.” LRCH submitted a 13-page document to Natural England, criticising the agency, arguing the body ignored the latest ecological data from a survey in 2020.

Meanwhile, the Planning Inspectorate is due to carry out a further site visit in September, followed by a six month formal examination period, which will begin two months after the visit.

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