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A tiny spider has created a setback for a £3.5 billion UK theme park, after both the BBC and ITV pulled out of its plans.
The London Resort, which is set to open in Swanscombe in Kent, had planned to have both broadcasters onboard so it could feature rides inspired by hit shows such as Doctor Who, Sherlock and Thunderbirds.
However, plans for the park have been met with a backlash by nature lovers who are concerned about the impact it may have on the distinguished jumping spider - a critically endangered species that measures just 1cm and lives on land near where the proposed park would be built.
Last November the area was declared a site of special interest due to its variety of wildlife, the Mail Online reports.
Natural England has said more than 1,700 invertebrate species call the area home - including a quarter of the UK’s water beetles.
Nature-loving group Save Swanscombe Peninsula urged the BBC to rethink its support of the park.
Following the pressure from campaigners, BBC and ITV have both now announced they are no longer in commercial agreements with the park.
A spokesperson from the BBC told the MailOnline: “BBC Studios has no commercial agreement in place with London Resort and no current plans to enter into any agreement.
“We would only consider doing so should there be clear and decisive evidence that the project would have a net positive environmental impact.”
While an ITV spokesperson said: “ITV's arrangement with the London Resort was that we were a potential licensor of one of our children's brands, which was Thunderbirds.
“We can confirm that ITV no longer has a commercial arrangement with London Resort as the agreement has now ended. This means that Thunderbirds will not be a part of the park.”
Buglife - an insect charity - welcomed the decision, with chief executive Matt Shardlow telling the MailOnline: “The theme of this wildlife oasis is nature and it must remain so.
“We welcome ITV's full recognition of the environmental harm this misplaced theme park would cause.”
The London Resort’s plans reveal it would be split into six different themed areas, including a sci-fi zone and a fairytale land; there would also be three hotels and a water park.
A spokesperson for The London Resort said: “Nobody ever said major infrastructure projects were easy or quick. We look forward to delivering the first top tier theme park for the UK.”
Featured Image Credit: The London Resort
Topics: UK News