The proposed London Paramount Entertainment Resort was the topic for discussion at an open Forum hosted by regional law firm, Thomson Snell & Passmore, on 18 June 2015 at Eastgate, Northfleet.
The proposed London Paramount Entertainment Resort was the topic for discussion at an open Forum hosted by regional law firm, Thomson Snell & Passmore, on 18 June 2015 at Eastgate, Northfleet. The Forum, attended by businessmen and women from all sectors across the Thames Gateway region including property, construction and health, sought to tackle the key issues of the impact of the proposals for London Paramount on local people and businesses.
The consensus of the discussion was that London Paramount was likely to have a significantly positive effect. However, it was noted that those responsible for its planning and implementation must take into consideration all aspects of the locality and its people. It was also agreed that there is a need for greater public awareness of the potential benefits of the project.
Some of the highlights from the discussion include:
- Despite the numerous issues raised by this prestigious project, the Forum attendees noted that in spite of the recent four-stage public consultation process carried out by London Paramount, knowledge and engagement in the local community in relation to the proposals was not particularly high. Indeed, only 26% of attendees had attended any of the official consultation events hosted by London Paramount, despite 100% of attendees anticipating their businesses being impacted on some level, and 41% anticipating a direct impact.
- Concerns were raised on the inevitable increase in pressure on the region’s already congested road network which will need to accommodate the additional traffic caused by guests attending the site which expects to receive an average of 45,000 visitors per day, rising to 96,500 visitors on peak days.
- A proposed solution to this would be if the construction of a third Thames crossing was pushed further up the Government’s agenda which would ease traffic in and around the Dartford Crossing, as well as increasing the likelihood of a Crossrail extension to Swanscombe.
Healthcare and education
- The London Paramount project, coupled with the Government’s proposed creation of Ebbsfleet Garden City, is likely to put enormous pressure on existing infrastructure in terms of schools, hospitals and utilities.
- It was concluded that a joined-up approach should be adopted in respect of these major regeneration projects to ensure that the appropriate infrastructure, including utilities as well as public services, is in place to accommodate significant increases in population.
- Attendees expressed optimism that London Paramount would have a knock-on regenerative effect on the town centres of Medway, Dartford and Gravesend given the likely need for overnight accommodation for guests staying outside of the Park itself and tourist spend in these areas. However, local town centres will clearly need to rise to the challenge to reap the potential rewards.
Commenting on the event Kamal Aggarwal, Head of Thomson Snell & Passmore’s Thames Gateway Office, said:
“This has been an excellent Forum at which local businesses have demonstrated genuine positivity about the proposed developments but also raised key issues that those involved in the project will need to give serious consideration to. All in all, the consensus is that this represents an enormous opportunity not only for Thames Gateway Kent, but the wider South East economy.”