London Resort: First stumbling block for Kent project as planning objections revealed

  • Video report by ITV News Meridian reporter John Ryall

Plans for a £3 billion pound theme park in North Kent have been met with major objections.

Written submissions on the planning proposals for the London Resort at Swanscombe Peninsula have been published this week.

John Ryall spoke to author and transport consultant Christian Wolmar and New Civil Engineer correspondent Rob Horgan.

The developers said they were "looking forward" to working through any representations with the planning inspectorate.

How the London Resort could look Credit: London Resort

The first proposal for the London Resort at the Swanscombe Peninsula was unveiled nine years ago.

The application says that the park will be a "nationally significant" visitors attraction, including everything from theme park rides and cinemas to hotels, staff accommodation and even an e-sports venue.

It also includes what the developers calls "substantial improvements" to transport infrastructure in the area, including a new ferry and coach terminal.

But objectors to the planning application, including Transport for London, Network Rail and local government leaders, are warning of the potential for a 'severe impact' on the east-west Crossrail project, the High Speed 1 rail line and key roads.

The site was partially chosen because of its proximity to Ebbsfleet International Station, 17 minutes from central London on the high speed train.

But the recently published objections say that it won't be able to cope with demand, which will cause chaos on the nearby Dartford Crossing.

As well as raising serious concerns about London Resort's impact on transport infrastructure, TfL and the other objectors are highly critical of the traffic modelling that the company done, describing it as 'totally inadequate'.

Environmental concerns have also been raised by those responding to the planning application.

The Campaign to Protect Rural England say the peninsula here is home to more rare and threatened species than any other brownfield site in the country.  

While the RSPB said the project would represent "one of the largest single losses of a Site of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI) in recent history."

But the developers plans include what it calls "a comprehensive landscape strategy...incorporating the retention and enhancement of wildlife habitats."

Responding to the criticism, the developers, London Resort Holdings, said in a statement: "The relevant representations have only just been published and we look forward to working our way through them with the organisations and the Planning Inspectorate."

The government's Planning Inspectorate says it is still waiting for some responses to the plans.

A date for preliminary meeting to discuss the next stage in the application has not yet been agreed.