London Resort (theme park) and Lower Thames Crossing (LTC) would both create more traffic issues both sides of the River Thames. We already know that the proposed LTC would still leave the Dartford Crossing over capacity. Plus we know that Highways England (HE) are not considering how traffic would migrate between the two crossings when there are incidents, if the LTC goes ahead, and that there aren’t adequate connections.
Whacking a great big theme park in between it all just seems ridiculous, in areas that are already suffering with serious congestion and pollution issues. To make it even worse HE have not even been taking London Resort into account with their traffic modelling data for LTC, because it doesn’t yet have permission. Whether or not that changes now that the London Resort has progressed to Development Consent Order (DCO) stage, with the application being accepted for Examination remains to be seen.
The idea of a theme park on the Swanscombe Peninsula, Kent has been spoken of from some years now. Many will remember it originally as Paramount Pictures, and is now London Resort.
Back when the LTC route options were being first discussed there were numerous locations, and at each location many variants of crossings that were considered. Location B would have seen the potential new crossing in the vicinity of the proposed theme park, many believe this is why possible crossings at that location were quickly ruled out.
Things went a bit quiet for a little while and then last year they had another consultation, with the addition of a parking facility north of the river in the Tilbury area. Yet another aspect of the proposed theme park to take into account in regard to the proposed Lower Thames Crossing, as well as what we were already aware of, and our own personal opinions of the theme park, but on here we have done our best to keep discussion purely on the connection and issues between the theme park and LTC.
You can read our previous updates relating to the London Resort (theme park) and LTC here with some initial reactions, and here is our update including our official response to the London Resort consultation in 2020.
Well since we submitted our response to the London Resort Consultation they have submitted their Development Consent Order (DCO) application and it was accepted by the Planning Inspectorate (PINS) and now moves to a Pre-Examination and Examination period of the DCO process. All the supporting DCO documentation can be viewed on the London Resort page on the Planning Inspectorate’s website.
Natural England recognised the area, where the theme park is proposed (the Swanscombe Peninsula), as a nationally important wildlife haven by designating it as a Site of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI) after some great campaigning from various organisations.
Whilst this is great news, unfortunately it doesn’t automatically mean that the theme park plans are cancelled, and the DCO process will still continue. There also has to be a period for the decision, on the SSSI status being granted, to be consulted on. But Planning decisions will now have to consider the fact that the area has been recognised as an SSSI as things are looking now.
To find out more and have your say on the SSSI status of the Swanscombe Peninsula visit Natural England’s website here. The consultation closes on 12th July 2021.
As we mentioned the London Resort DCO application has been accepted, and now moves to the next stages of the DCO process, including an Examination.
During that Examination anyone who has registered as an Interested Party will continue to be able to make representations and have their say. TCAG have registered as an Interest Party to reserve our right to make representations moving forward, whether it be written or verbal representations.
If anyone else wishes to do the same, you need to register as an Interested Party by 23:59 on 31st March 2021. It’s very quick and easy to do, and you can find out more and register at https://infrastructure.planninginspectorate.gov.uk/projects/south-east/the-london-resort/
BBC reports on Swanscombe Peninsula SSSI status – click here
Buglife Save Swanscombe Peninsula campaign – click here
Joint letter from various organisations calling for urgent SSSI designation for Swanscombe Peninsula – click here
The London Resort website