Businesses fear being forced out if plans for Europe's biggest theme park go ahead

Video report by ITV News Meridian's Sarah Saunders

Businesses fear being forced out if plans for the ambitious London Resort project are given the go-ahead by Government.

There are more than a hundred companies on land where the vast entertainment complex, set to be Europe's biggest theme park, could be built on the Swanscombe Peninsula.

Owners say they can't afford rents elsewhere and can't invest in property where they could be pushed out, leaving them held hostage by a project which might never happen.

Michael's Bridal Fabrics has been trading in the area for 21 years.

Owner Michael Bristow said: "It seems very unfair that one commercial organisation can come along and say they want to take over the areas already occupied by other commercial organisations.

Credit: ITV News Meridian

"It doesn't seem fair they can be given the power to do it and cause grief to so many other companies."

The theme park and hotels would cover an area the size of 136 Wembley stadiums.

Developers also claim it will create 48,000 jobs by 2038.

However more than 100 businesses are already located on the land.  

Sabotcastle's Managing Director, Peter Lethbridge.

Directors at Sabotcastle, which manufacturers plastic bottles, feel they can't invest in a site they might be pushed out of, an expensive process which could take them months.

Managing Director, Peter Lethbridge, said: "It's true they will pay relocation costs but we are faced with rent potentially 3 or 4 times what we are paying.

Land where The London Resort is set to be built.

The planning process has been held up after part of the site was designated a site of special scientific interest, but there are still plans to open by 2024.

The London Resort says it hopes to avoid relying on compulsory purchase powers for businesses, and plans to pay a 30% premium to businesses which have to move.