Kent County Council has welcomed the decision by the Planning Inspectorate to allow the £2.5billion London Resort scheme to go through the Development Consent Order process.
London Resort Company Holdings (‘LRCH’) have made a DCO application under the 2008 Planning Act to the Planning Inspectorate to develop the site at Swanscombe Peninsula for a large entertainment/designation resort-a theme park, water park, Conference/entertainment arenas, extensive food and leisure facilities, several hotels with around 3500 bedrooms, as well up to 500 residential units.
This is the first ‘Business or Commercial Project’ to be lodged as a Nationally Significant Infrastructure Project (‘NSIP’) under the 2008 Planning Act. The Planning Inspectorate is responsible for recommending to the Secretary of State to decide on such applications with local authorities responding as statutory consultees along with other agencies.
The company’s aim is to create one of the most sustainable, mixed-use entertainment and theme park destinations resorts in the world. It anticipates providing up to 6000 construction jobs and up to 17,000 jobs when fully operational.
KCC’s Cabinet member for Economic Development, Mike Whiting, said: “These are ambitious plans and the project timing and phasing are challenging.
“To ensure that these new job opportunities are available to people across the county, KCC will be working with our partners in the Employment Task Force to put in place the right employment and skills strategy.”
The main area of the site is located principally on the Swanscombe Peninsula between Greenhithe and Northfleet in North Kent. Access would be off the A2 with a dedicated road link, via HS1 International Station, local railway stations and a new dedicated river ferry service.
If the application is granted consent by the Secretary of State it is anticipated construction works would start in 2022, with the first phase Theme Park and its supporting infrastructure opening in 2024.
KCC says there are several aspects and mitigation requirements to be worked through prior to any approval which include:
- Transportation impacts on the local and regional networks;
- Ecology and biodiversity considerations on the Peninsula which has several important species, with the Thames Estuary having several linked environmental sites of national and international importance;
- The river and location are an active working environment providing jobs and income;
- It is one of the foremost archaeological locations in the UK as well as having important 19th and 20th Century industrial heritage;
- It currently provides important and remote recreational and green space.
Kent County Council says it is looking forward to continuing to work with LRCH and local interests through the examination process to ensure local views are fully understood by the Examining Authority and the Secretary of State in decision-making.