A huge Disneyland-style theme park based near London is to begin construction next year, subject to planning permission.
The London Resort, which is based on the capital’s various attractions, will be constructed on the Swanscombe Peninsula in Kent provided planners give it the green light. It will be due to open in 2024, although parts of it will not be completed until 2029.
Covering 465 hectares, the £2.5 billion project will be the largest theme park in Europe, with Paramount Pictures, BBC Studios and ITV Studios all involved as partners.
Chief executive PY Gerbau said: “We will be the first theme park across Europe to be built from scratch in nearly 30 years.”
“We will be one of the only operationally carbon neutral parks in the world,” he added, promising that the project will be a “beacon” of green construction.
The first three development partners have been selected and 65 more are in the running to play a part in the project. The sheer scale of the site will mean it offers huge opportunities for the best ideas in theme park design to be transformed into reality.
Not everyone is happy with the development, which has met some opposition as the peninsula has been designated a site of special scientific interest. However, the plans involve leaving much of the land as green space to provide wildlife habitat for birds and other creatures that live in the Thames estuary, and the scheme has been designated a National Significant Infrastructure Project.
The theme park is also designed to be accessible by public transport, being very close to the HS1 high speed rail station at Ebbsfleet, while also bringing benefits to the area in terms of construction jobs during this decade and, over the longer run, permanent roles at the site and increased tourism numbers in north Kent.