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Paramount resort: Planning application delayed raising doubts over opening date

By Chris Price

The developer of a Paramount resort in Kent has once again delayed the submission of a planning application for the £3.2 billion attraction, raising doubts over its 2021 opening date.

Plans for the project, earmarked for the Swanscombe Peninsula between Gravesend and Dartford, were due to submitted to the Government this summer, having already been put back last year.

The scheme, which developers say will create 27,000 jobs, has already delayed its planned opening date twice, and the latest setback is set to move its timetable back another year.

Developers hope the resort will be open - without the Paramount branding - in 2023
Developers hope the resort will be open - without the Paramount branding - in 2023

Steven Norris, chairman of London Resort Company Holdings (LRCH), the company behind the project, told Property Week the plans would not now be submitted until the second quarter of 2017.

He said: “Very straightforwardly, we do regular appraisals to make sure that when we’re entering pretty new territory, which is what London Paramount is, we’ve got everything right.

“And as a result of that, we’ve adjusted our plan.”

"Businesses and landlords are already suffering severe impacts as a result of the uncertainties so this further delay is not good news..." - Dan Bramwell, Peninsula Management Group

However, Mr Norris, a former transport minister and ex-London mayoral candidate, apparently stressed the latest hold-up did not necessarily mean the opening would be delayed again.

He said: “We would be relaxed about it if it did extend slightly because with a project like this, it is a one of a kind.

“There are no comparables like there would be with an office or residential development.”

London Paramount entertainment resort is being financed by Kuwaiti European Holdings, owned by the Al-Humaidi family.

Its planning application, once submitted, will be decided by the Secretary of State, rather than local government, under its status as a Nationally Significant Infrastructure Project.

Peninsula Management Group, a lobbying body which represents businesses set to be displaced by the project, said it was "disappointing to learn that there will be a further significant delay".

Spokesman Dan Bramwell said: "Businesses and landlords are already suffering severe impacts as a result of the uncertainties so this further delay is not good news.

"On the positive front, the delay offers a good opportunity for LRCH to work with us to reach a mutually agreeable position whereby both parties can move forward working together to protect their interests."

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