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London Paramount opening date pushed back for the SECOND time

PUBLISHED: 13:06 30 September 2015 | UPDATED: 17:09 30 September 2015

Aerial view of the planned site for the London Paramount resort

Aerial view of the planned site for the London Paramount resort

Archant

The opening date of the London Paramount resort has now been pushed back to 2021 - two years after its originally planned date.

The opening date of the London Paramount entertainment resort has been pushed back for a second time.

The theme park was originally set to open on the Swanscombe peninsula in 2019, but this was put back to 2020 – and has now been put back again to 2021.

Bosses say the delay will allow them to carry out further studies into how the park will affect the environment and transport in the area, and how these effects can be mitigated.

The £2 billion complex is expected to be as big as Disneyland Paris, with a Hollywood-themed entertainment park, hotels, a water park and more.

Some 15 million visitors a year are expected, and bosses say the resort will create up to 27,000 jobs.

However, concerns have been expressed about the plans, most notably concerning the fate of dozens of businesses who would be displaced by the park, as their premises would fall victim to a compulsory purchase order.

The park would also generate a huge amount of traffic – possibly too much for the A2 and surrounding roads to cope with – and affect the environment, including the Swanscombe Marshes. Paramount is proposing to build an access road from the A2 into the resort before it opens.

The planning application was due to be considered this autumn, but will now be considered in the middle of next year.

London Paramount chief executive David Testa said: “We have decided to give ourselves a bit more time.

“It is critical that the application is comprehensive when we present it to the Planning Inspectorate.”

The decision over whether to give planning permission will be taken at a national level by the Planning Inspectorate, rather than Dartford and Gravesham councils, because the project is considered to be of national importance.

Doug Hilton, director of PMG, the group of Swanscombe businesses affected by the development, said: “I hope Paramount will use the delay constructively to work with PMG and the businesses on the Swanscombe peninsula to address the relocation issue.

“At the moment, the businesses have a very uncertain future, which is impacting on their day-to-day trade and operations.

“All we ask is that London Resort Company Holdings [the company behind Paramount] sits down with us as a matter of urgency to identify the needs of these businesses, the issues of relocation and either potential suitable sites or agreeable financial packages.

“This delay gives them no excuse not to start moving things forward.”

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