Companies without strict freehold or lease agreements on land earmarked for the Paramount resort face being booted off their premises without compensation.
More than 50 companies are expected to be turfed out of their offices and warehouses by the £2 billion scheme after bosses were sent letter from its developers.
Law firms in the area around Swanscombe Peninsula, where it is set to be built, have reported a “flurry” of enquiries from firms within the proposed boundary for the attraction. The letters sent to firms outline powers given to developers London Resort Company Holdings (LRCH), which will give them the right to force companies off the land needed for the resort.
Alex Lewsley, senior associate at Dartford-based Thomson Snell & Passmore, said complications may come from firms on flexible leases which do not hold a freehold or leasehold on the land where they work. He said:
A flexible arrangement may suit them at the moment but they could be forced out by Paramount and not be able to claim compensation. They need to regularise their occupation. London Paramount has run many consultation events and claims to have reached out to all sectors but people on the patch seem to know little about it. This letter is the first contact many firms have had with people behind the resort.
As a Nationally Significant Infrastructure Project, Paramount’s developers have the right to apply for a Development Consent Order, giving them powers to “acquire the necessary land and rights over land in order to construct and operate the resort,” according to the letter.
LRCH is expected to apply for this status in the autumn.
The firm declined to comment.
By Chris Price, Business Editor, Kent Business.
The article was first published in Kentish Express in April 2015.