Former British Paramount theme park hits another stumbling block

The London Resort, a theme park billed as Britain’s answer to Disneyland, has suffered another setback after suddenly withdrawing its planning application.

On Tuesday, PY Gerbeau, Chief Executive of London Resort Company Holdings (LRCH), the developers behind The London Resort, confirmed that the company is withdrawing its current application.

Gerbeau credited the reclassification of a local boat dock as a “free port” (not subject to normal taxes and customs regulations) for deciding what would impact the proposed ferry terminal as part of the site’s redevelopment. He also said an area of ​​the proposed theme park has been designated a “Site of Special Scientific Interest” by the environment agency Natural England, meaning the land has some significant flora, fauna, physiological or geological features that cannot be disturbed also affected the plans.

“These changes are considered material and as such require retraction and resubmission [of the planning application]’ Gerbeau said in a statement. “We have repeatedly asked the examination office and the building control office for leeway, extensions of deadlines and, of course, for their understanding. Your teams have been extremely supportive, but we recognize that the best way forward for the project is to withdraw and resubmit a new DCO [Development Consent Order] Application within this calendar year.”

The withdrawal of the planning application is the latest blow to the 900-acre resort, which was originally slated to open in 2018 as a theme park by Paramount Pictures.

Originally planned as a partnership between LRCH and Paramount, the theme park was first announced in 2012 with the promise of more than 50 rides and attractions based on globally acclaimed films and TV shows, as well as the UK’s largest indoor water park, theaters and live music venues, Cinemas, restaurants, function rooms and 5,000 hotel rooms in one location in north Kent, just outside London.

However, the deal fell through in 2017 after the two companies mutually agreed to end their arrangement. In 2019, LRCH announced that the partnership had been “revived” with a new licensing deal in which the studio would own LRCH’s intellectual property in films such as The Godfather, The Italian Job, the Mission: Impossible franchise, and “A Quiet Place” to be converted into amusement park rides.

LRCH also struck deals with ITV Studios and BBC to license their family and children’s content for the park, and in 2021 unveiled their plans for a dinosaur-inspired land that will feature two roller coasters, a 1,500-seat indoor arena, a 4D Underwater themed cruise and more included two restaurants, one of which is a fine dining experience.

In the meantime, the opening date has been pushed back again and again, first to 2022 and then to 2024. But without even submitting a planning application now, even this later date seems increasingly unlikely.

“We will continue our engagement with the local community, public bodies, landowners and others to ensure we can reach as many agreements as possible before resubmitting,” Gerbeau said. “Make no mistake we are still 100% committed to this amazing project and will submit it again before the end of 2022 and look forward to delivering a world class entertainment resort – Britain deserves better and we will make it happen!”

https://variety.com/2022/film/news/paramount-theme-park-u-k-1235218747/ Former British Paramount theme park hits another stumbling block

Charles Jones

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