What future now for London Resort after company is put up for sale?

The Swanscombe peninsula is a wonderful site for wildlife

Is it the end for the London Resort theme park?
The company that owns much of the land lined up for the environmentally destructive project on the Swanscombe peninsula has been put up for sale.
Swanscombe Development LLP, which owns more than 370 acres of the peninsula between Dartford and Gravesend, together with 39 acres of the Manor Way business park, had granted an option for London Resort Company Holdings to buy the land for its proposed development, although that expired more than 18 months ago.
Now, Swanscombe Development LLP – “a 50:50 joint venture between Aggregate Industries UK Ltd and Anglo American International Holdings Ltd established for the purposes of owning the freehold land at Swanscombe Peninsula,” according to Savills, which is handling proceedings – is itself up for sale.
The Savills sale document continues: “The land forms part of an area that is the subject of Nationally Significant Infrastructure Project (NSIP) status relating to the proposed London Resort entertainment resort/theme park.
“It was subject to a Development Consent Order submission accepted for examination in January 2021 but later withdrawn. The London Resort scheme retains NSIP status.
“An option agreement in favour of London Resort lapsed in December 2022 and has not been renewed.”
The scheme was formally designated as an NSIP in 2014, but CPRE Kent and other environmental campaign groups have called for that planning status to be revoked.
NSIP designation is a planning route normally earmarked for major projects such as roads and power stations and we believe this status is hindering attempts to save the peninsula and win support to enact a vision for the site developed together with the local community.
The Swanscombe peninsula is home to more than 2,000 species of invertebrate, including the critically endangered distinguished jumping spider, and 82 species of breeding birds, including nightingale, making it one of the most important breeding bird sites in south-east England. It is also home to man orchids, water voles and otters.
Since being granted permission to be considered as an NSIP, the site’s wildlife value has come to the fore, culminating in its notification as a Site of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI) in 2021 by Natural England, the government’s adviser for the natural environment in England.
This contributed to the withdrawal of a theme park application in 2022 and growing support for a vision that would see the retained Swanscombe peninsula at the heart of a thriving community wildlife haven.
Savills says the LLP (Limited Liability Partnership) is “being marketed by way of informal tender” and inviting offers until noon, Friday July 26.

  • To learn about the alternative vision for Swanscombe peninsula, click here
  • Although this development is proposed for the Kent side of the Thames, it does have implications for Essex. To read why, click here