London Resort Company Holdings, the company behind the proposed London Paramount Entertainment Resort, have released their report from stage three of the public consultation process as they prepare to hold the fourth and final stage of consultations before they apply for planning permission for the development later this year.
The themed workshops, which formed the third part of a four stage consultation process, focused on a range of topics, from traffic and transport; jobs, careers, education and training; to master-planning and infrastructure, and asked those attending to share their views, ideas and concerns about the development.
Once again, traffic and transport proved to be one of the most debated issues, with workshop attendees raising a number of issues and suggestions. Conflicting views were raised with regards to the parking provision at the resort with some people worried that the 14, 000 planned parking spaces would encourage people to use their cars rather than public transport to the resort, whilst others were worried that if the resort didn’t provide enough parking, visitors would resort to parking on the surrounding local roads, therefore causing obstructions for local businesses. One possibility suggested was locating parking facilities across the River Thames in Essex to create a ‘park and glide’ system to the resort, or constructing a cable car system similar to the Emirates line in London. As mentioned in previous stages of the consultation process, many people wanted to see the resort make use of the River Thames, both to transport people to the resort, and during the construction process to deliver building materials to the development site.
Accessibility and inclusivity at the resort was one of the key topics discussed at the master-planning workshops, with people expressing a desire to see the development go above and beyond a basic compliance with the disability discrimination act. Groups at the workshops stated that “full access for the whole family must be designed in from the start building on positive elements and examples from attraction across the UK such as Chessington, Paultons Park and Bluewater.” It was also discussed how there should be both public and private areas of the resort, meaning that particular areas would require payment to access, whereas other areas would be open to all to access for free, something which it was considered would help broaden the resort’s appeal. The inclusion of rollercoasters at the resort was also explicitly mentioned for the first time, with locals commenting that they would like more information on the height and visual impact of any proposed rides and buildings. Also considered was the potential for the new entertainment resort to link up with local tourism bodies, and other local attractions to help bring benefits in increased tourism across the area.
The publication of the findings from the latest round of consultations comes as more than 50 local companies have been contacted by the developers asking businesses to confirm their land titles and freehold tenure. These letters are thought to be the first step in London Resort Company Holdings seeking the necessary powers to compulsory purchase the land necessary for the development to take place. Some businesses fear they will be forced to re-locate as a result and that this could have a negative impact on their business.
Dates for the fourth and final stage of the consultation process have also been confirmed by developers. The final round of consultations will see the draft plans for the resort, including a scale model, put on display for people to examine and add their comments to, before the final application is submitted to the Secretary of State this autumn.
What are your thoughts on the findings of the consultation process so far? Do you think the plans we have seen will come to fruition? Have your say over on the Attraction Source Forum. As the plans for London Paramount Entertainment Resort continue to progress, we’ll keep you up to date with all the latest developments.