Pressure mounts for government to halt £2.5 billion London Resort project in Swanscombe

Pressure mounts for government to halt £2.5 billion London Resort project in Swanscombe

Calls for Government to Halt £2.5 Billion London Resort Project in Swanscombe

Pressure is mounting on the government to intervene and put an end to the plans for a £2.5 billion theme park project on the Swanscombe Peninsula, dubbed the “Dartford Disneyland.”

Local politicians, business owners, and residents have all voiced their concerns about the long and drawn-out project, which was first proposed in 2012. They argue that enough is enough and it’s time for the government to revoke the planning status for the London Resort.

The project, which was supposed to be the largest entertainment project in Europe since Disneyland Paris, has faced numerous setbacks and delays over the years. And the recent departure of Steve Norris, chairman of the London Resort Company Holdings (LRCH), has only added to the uncertainty surrounding the project.

Businesses in the area, such as Blazon Fabrications, have been operating under the threat of being relocated due to the project for over a decade. Denise Lee, who works at the company, expressed relief that the plans seem to have been scrapped, saying “As far as we’re concerned the plans are dead in the water. It’s not going to happen now.”

Others, like Martin Povey, who runs a haulage firm on the Swanscombe Peninsula, have already been forced to relocate due to the uncertainty surrounding the project. Povey explains, “We got so fed up with the uncertainty. We could not expand because we did not know what was going to happen.”

Despite the numerous setbacks, the London Resort still holds the status of a Nationally Significant Infrastructure Project (NSIP), meaning that the final decision on its planning success or failure rests with the government. This has led to calls for the government to revoke the NSIP status and restore planning control to the local authority.

Dartford MP Gareth Johnson believes that the project’s NSIP status exposes a flaw in the planning process and needs to change. He argues, “The genuine questions local people had over the environmental impact of this theme park and traffic problems were never adequately answered.”

In December, Dartford council put forward a motion for the government to strip the project of its NSIP status and restore planning control to the local authority. Council leader Jeremy Kite stated, “It’s fair to say that the patience of many members is now exhausted and there is very little new information emerging from the backers, which is a disappointing state of affairs.”

As pressure grows on the government to intervene, the future of the London Resort project remains uncertain. But for now, it seems that many are calling for an end to the long and contentious plans for a “Dartford Disneyland.”

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