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The planning application for the long-awaited London Resort has been withdrawn, although the company behind the ambitious project has said it plans to resubmit later this year.
The theme park was due to open on the Swanscombe Peninsula in 2025 as a world class entertainment and leisure destination like Disneyland and other UK rivals, in turn creating thousands of jobs.
However, a statement on the London Resort website confirmed that the current application had been ‘withdrawn’ as a result of issues relating to the Tilbury ferry terminal.
PY Gerbeau, chief executive of London Resort Company Holdings, said: “In the best interests of the London Resort, we are withdrawing the current application; as a result of the classification of Tilbury as a Freeport which has meant revisions are required in moving the ferry terminal from Tilbury to Grays. We are working closely and collaborating with Thurrock Council on that matter.”
Last March, the area was handed Site of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI) protection due to the environmental importance of its geology, plant life and wildlife.
Gerbeau admitted this had 'impacted' The London Resort's plans, but that the project has vowed to spend millions on improvements.
The French entrepreneur continued: “This issue, combined with the decision by Natural England to designate a brownfield contaminated site as a SSSI has impacted the project.
"We in turn have acquired significant land holdings as part of our mitigation strategy combined with our commitment to spend £150m on environmental improvements on the peninsula.
"These changes are considered material and as such require withdrawal and resubmission.”
Gerbeau stressed that, while the current planning application is being withdrawn, there are plans to resubmit at some point ‘this calendar year’.
He said: “We have repeatedly petitioned for latitude, extensions of time and of course understanding from the Examining Authority and the Planning Inspectorate.
"Their teams have been extremely supportive, but we recognise that the best route for the Project is through withdrawal and resubmission of a fresh DCO application within this calendar year.
“We will continue our engagement with the local community, statutory bodies, landowners and others to make sure we can reach as many agreements as possible before resubmission.
"Make no mistake we are still 100% committed to this amazing project and we will resubmit before the end of 2022 and look forward to delivering a world class entertainment resort – the UK deserves better and we will make it happen!”
Featured Image Credit: The London Resort
Topics: UK News
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