Plans to build a new theme park – dubbed the UK’s answer to Disneyland – have been withdrawn.
The London Resort Company Holdings Ltd, the company behind the scheme, confirmed the news in a statement in which it said the Freeport status handed to the site in Tilbury was one of the reasons behind the move. The theme park was due to be built by the Thames on the Swanscombe Peninsula in Kent and open in 2025.
Despite the setback, The London Resort insists it will return with fresh plans in the future. Estimates suggested it would have cost £3.5bn to build the resort.
In a statement, its Chief Executive said: “In the best interests of the London Resort, we are withdrawing the current application; as a result of the classification of Tilbury as a Freeport which has meant revisions are required in moving the ferry terminal from Tilbury to Grays. We are working closely and collaborating with Thurrock Council on that matter.
“This issue, combined with the decision by Natural England to designate a brownfield contaminated site as a SSSI has impacted the project. We in turn have acquired significant land holdings as part of our mitigation strategy combined with our commitment to spend £150m on environmental improvements on the peninsula. These changes are considered material and as such require withdrawal and resubmission.