Plans for a £3.5bn theme park which was set to rival Disneyland have been thrown into a spin by a tiny spider, the Daily Mail reports. The London Resort was set to be built on a 465-hectare site on the Swanscombe Peninsula in Kent, but now its future is uncertain after two major broadcasters withdrew their support.
Natural England declared the area a site of special scientific interest (SSSI) last November. However, Wales Online reports that the presence of the so-called ‘jumping spider’, which is just 1cm long, has finally put the brakes on the juggernaut park scheme. The spider is a critically endangered species.
A spokesman said: 'BBC Studios has no commercial agreement in place with London Resort and no current plans to enter into any agreement. We would only consider doing so should there be clear and decisive evidence that the project would have a net positive environmental impact.'
An ITV spokesman added: 'ITV's arrangement with the London Resort was that we were a potential licensor of one of our children's brands, which was Thunderbirds. We can confirm that ITV no longer has a commercial arrangement with London Resort as the agreement has now ended. This means that Thunderbirds will not be a part of the park.'
The site is home to over 1,700 invertebrates, including a quarter of the UK’s water beetles. Insect charity Buglife welcomed the broadcasters' decisions to pull out, as did the campaign group Save Swanscombe Peninsula.
The original intention was to develop rides based on popular TV shows such as Thunderbirds, Sherlock, and Doctor Who. There were also plans for a fairytale land, an Arthurian kingdom, and an area themed around prehistoric creatures and dinosaurs. A statement issued on behalf of the developers indicated that they still hoped to go ahead.
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