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Petition urges BBC Studios to drop links to London Resort theme park over fears for environmental impact of the scheme

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Campaigners are calling on the BBC to scrap its involvement in plans for the UK's largest theme park because of the threat to wildlife.

An online petition started by Save Swanscombe Peninsula urges the corporation's BBC Studios arm to withdraw from the project to create the London Resort on land between Dartford and Gravesend.

A detailed artist's impression of what the London Resort theme park will look like
A detailed artist's impression of what the London Resort theme park will look like

They say involvement by the broadcaster in the controversial development on the peninsula would run contrary to its stated commitment to "creating a positive environmental impact" in its work.

The BBC has joined ITV Studios and Paramount Pictures in agreeing to lend naming rights to rides and attractions at the resort.

However, last month marshland where developers hope to build the £2.5bn attraction was designated as a Site of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI), as it is home to scores of rare species.

The status granted by Natural England - the Government's environmental advisory group - means any future development plans must take into account the abundance and importance of wildlife in the area.

So far almost 2,000 people have signed the petition, which states: "We ask that BBC Studios considers all the listed concerns below from various wildlife charities and individuals and agrees that for the BBC to be taking an interest in such a wildlife damaging planning application would go against its own Green Policy values and so therefore withdraws its interest from the London Resort Theme Park with immediate effect."

Watch: Fears London Resort plans could devastate natural habitats

London Resort Company Holdings (LRCH) has submitted a 25,000-page planning application which is now being considered by planning inspectors from the Government's Planning Inspectorate.

The London Resort scheme has been deemed a nationally significant infrastructure project by the Planning Inspectorate and is estimated to provide 48,000 direct and supply chain jobs during construction with 17,000 jobs at the park by 2038.

But bosses will now have to set out highly detailed mitigation plans to protect the environment as a result of the SSSI status being awarded.

Read more: All the latest news from Gravesend

Read more: All the latest news from Dartford

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