The company behind the proposed London Resort theme park in Kent has been described as appearing “incapable of delivering” the project.
Dartford member of parliament Gareth Johnson said that London Resort Company Holdings (LRCH)’s repeated delays added uncertainty to local businesses and residents.
The London Resort project is the much-delayed former Paramount London project, which would be located on the Swanscombe peninsular in Kent.
Conservative MP Johnson said: “Dartford is losing patience with LRCH and its proposed theme park.
“This latest delay is just one in a series of postponements that has created uncertainty for the existing businesses on the Swanscombe Peninsula and makes LRCH look incapable of ever delivering this project.
“I have always felt the jobs that could come from a leisure facility on the peninsula would be very welcome but I have yet to see evidence of how the local area would cope with the extra people and vehicles it would bring.
“The concept of a theme park was initially welcomed by local people but this uncertainty is becoming intolerable.”
LRCH’s earlier said it was planning to consult with the public on its plans this month, ahead of a planning application being submitted before the end of 2018, with an opening date set for 2023.
‘Scale and complexity’
Humphrey Percy, LRCH’s chief executive, was today quoted in Kent Online as saying that planning permission would now be sought in 2019, but did not elaborate on any likely further delay to the park’s opening date.
He said that over £55 million had been spent on the project to date, and that the project was “progressing further”.
“We have reached a pivotal gateway stage in our application preparation,” Percy said.
“We believe it’s important to be clear about the challenge in the preparation and delivery of a project of this scale and complexity.
“It is fair to say that we did not sufficiently estimate the scope for ‘unknown’ issues to impact our programme.
“One example of which has been the significant changes in the way in which we must assess the transport implications and consequent environmental impacts.
“We have, to date, spent approximately £55m and, as is not unusual for a project of this scale, the pace of activity has varied.
We know that many people are disappointed that we are revising our programme, but we cannot, nor should we seek, to shortcut proper process in our assessments simply to meet our self imposed deadlines.
“We are very much looking forward to progressing further with the project this year with the intention of submitting our application in 2019.”
The park’s construction cost has been estimated at £3.2 billion, and developers have claimed that 27,000 jobs would be created by the park.