Public consultation starts on £3.5bn UK leisure resort plans

The fifth stage of public consultation has started on ambitious  plans to create a £3.5 billion “next generation” leisure resort with two theme parks on the banks of the River Thames.

The London Resort will be “globally competitive” and mark a “step-change” in leisure and entertainment provision in the UK, according to developers.

Themed rides and attractions across two theme parks, with entertainment, eSports, a water park and conference venues, hotels, retail and dining, will be included across a 535 acre site.

Plans call for the development on Swanscombe Peninsula in north Kent, including access to the A2 and Ebbsfleet International railway station, accessible from London in 20 minutes.

Construction for the project, which will comprise of six areas, could begin in early 2022 for opening in 2024.

Plans were first outlined eight years ago to create the first leisure resort of its kind in Europe since Disneyland Paris in 2992.

Paramount Pictures was announced as a partner a year ago alongside BBC Studios and ITV Studios.

The aim is to create 9,000 direct and 20,000 indirect jobs for the operation of the resort within the first year, rising to 17,000 and more than 35,000 after 15 years.

The first theme park would open in 2024 and the second by 2029.

Radisson Hotel Group will become a stakeholder in the project, opening a Radisson Blu property in the resort.

The consultation started on Monday and runs via webinars until September 21.

The London Resort plans include:

The Leisure Core – two theme parks with themed rides and attractions, entertainment venues, retail and dining

  • Four hotels with up to 3,550 rooms, including one Water Park hotel
  • Retail, dining and entertainment outside the park gates with conference and convention centre together with an eSports Centre
  • Car parking on the Swanscombe Peninsula and at Tilbury in Thurrock
  • A ‘Park and Glide’ facility at Tilbury, with river transport infrastructure on both sides of the Thames, including floating jetty and ferry terminals
  • A new access road between the A2 Ebbsfleet junction and the London Resort
  • Improved local transport links, including a network of pedestrian and cycle routes and enhanced public transport services
  • Habitat creation and enhancement and public access
  • Utilities, security and safety provisions
  • Up to 500 homes for London Resort workers

Chief executive PY Gerbeau, former Euro Disney operations chief and head of the Millennium Dome project, said: “The London Resort represents a unique opportunity to bring a thrilling and exciting global entertainment destination to the UK with a breadth of facilities.

“It will generate multi-billion-pound investment, thousands of jobs, and will transform a largely brownfield site into one of the most exciting entertainment destinations in the world.

“As well as maximising new, immersive and interactive technologies, our aim is also to be one of the most sustainable major theme parks in the world, pursuing an operational net zero emissions goal.

“Sustainability is at the core of our vision and we continue to explore new and innovative ways of integrating sustainable and low-carbon principles into every area of design and operation of the resort.

“We have listened, analysed and considered all the feedback given to us through extensive consultations.”

“It is the first project of its kind to be designated a Nationally Significant Infrastructure Project so while it’s incredibly important for local communities to continue contributing, it is also important for the nation to have its say.”

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