Future of London Resort in Doubt as Development Land Goes Up for Sale

London Resort Development Land Goes Up for Sale, Putting Disneyland-Style Park Plans in Doubt

The future of the highly anticipated London Resort project, which was set to rival Disneyland with its £2.5 billion budget, is now uncertain as the land earmarked for the development goes up for sale.

Swanscombe Development LLP, a joint venture between Aggregate Industries and Anglo American International Holdings, currently owns over 370 acres of the Swanscombe Peninsula, along with additional land at the Manor Way Business Park. The company had previously granted an option for London Resort Company Holdings (LRCH) to purchase the land for the leisure complex, but the option expired in December 2022 and has not been renewed.

LRCH, the company behind the ambitious theme park plans, had already invested over £4 million in acquiring the option, which was non-refundable in the event of no purchase. However, with Swanscombe Development LLP now up for sale, the freehold on the land is also up for grabs.

The sale is being handled by property firm Savills, with offers being accepted until July 26. The site, which includes the former Swanscombe Cement Works, was designated a Site of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI) in 2021 due to its diverse wildlife and natural features. This designation is believed to have played a role in derailing the London Resort project.

Conservation groups, including Kent Wildlife Trust, have been vocal in their opposition to the theme park plans and are now calling for the special planning constraints, in the form of a Nationally Significant Infrastructure Project (NSIP), to be removed from the site. They argue that this will help protect the area for future generations and remove the uncertainty surrounding its future.

Developers had previously claimed that their plans would protect the nature on-site while bringing in jobs, revenue, and regeneration to the area. However, environmental campaigners have consistently argued that the project is not compatible with the abundance of wildlife in the area and have urged the government to protect it.

An alternative vision for the neglected “nature oasis” has been put forward by the Save Swanscombe Peninsula Group, which includes organizations such as Buglife, CPRE Kent, Kent Wildlife Trust, and RSPB. Despite the challenges faced by the London Resort project, LRCH has maintained its commitment to delivering the project and has promised to invest £150 million in environmental improvements.

As the fate of the London Resort project remains uncertain, it is clear that the future of the Swanscombe Peninsula is still up in the air. Savills has not disclosed the asking price for the land, and both LRCH and Aggregate Industries have been approached for comment. Only time will tell if the Disneyland-style park will ever become a reality on the Swanscombe Peninsula.

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