Public consultations for the London Resort, the theme park and entertainment complex proposed for the Swanscombe Peninsula in Kent, are set to be delayed once again with developers no longer set to present their plans to the public in the first quarter of 2018.
In a report published by local newspaper Kent Online, it has been revealed that the next round of public consultations for the £3.2 billion project will now take place in the second quarter of 2018 (April-June), instead of during January to March as previously planned. This latest delay to the consultation process has been blamed on “new considerations and opportunities” which meant that “workstreams have not had a consistent pace”.
Kent Online have stated that the information regarding the delay has been revealed in an email sent to local businesses by London Resort Company Holdings Chief Executive Humphrey Percy to local businesses via Peninsula Management Group, which represents many of the small local businesses which are currently located on land which has been earmarked for the development. In the email, Mr Percy is reported to have said:
“As we continue to design, refine and develop the London Resort, it requires incredible commitment and careful consideration at a detailed level from ourselves, our local authority colleagues and statutory consultees and eventually the community.
“We have therefore revised our programme and will no longer be consulting in Q1 of 2018. All major projects are years in the making and the London Resort is no different.”
This is not the first time this fifth round of public consultation has been delayed. The consultations were initially scheduled for early 2016, however these have been continually pushed back with the previous delay being confirmed at the end of July 2017 which saw the consultations moved from ‘late 2017’ to ‘early 2018’, and the proposed opening date for the Resort also delayed to 2023 (four years later than the date set when the project was first announced). However, despite this latest delay to the consultation process, developers are insisting that it will not affect the current proposed opening date and they still intend to submit their planning application later in 2018.
2017 has been a mixed year for the London Resort Development with a number of key partnerships announced, including an agreement for IHG Hotel Group to operate up to 4000 guest rooms, and an agreement with MBNA Thames Clipper to operate a river bus service to the Resort. One of the biggest developments however was the announcement in June that Paramount Pictures had ended their partnership with London Resort Company Holdings. February saw a significant change in the leadership structure of the project, with long term CEO David Testa stepping down and being replaced by current CEO Humphrey Percey, news which followed reports that a promised £100 million investment from Chinese investment company SinoFortone was also in doubt.
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