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London Entertainment Resort: All Discussion

Sam said:
What's that huge thing in the middle, presumably a Toverland-esque 'indoor park'?
Presumably that's the proposed Europe's biggest indoor Waterpark, as mentioned in the BBC article.

All looks rather exciting :D. Don't want to get my hopes up too much, but it definitely seems promising at the moment!
I love how most of that topic about a huge new theme park in the country we all live in is people worrying about what the effect will be their precious ickle Chessington. It must be the most overrated park in the UK. If this opening meant Chessie had to shut down, I wouldn't really care much.

It's a bit of a dump, with no decent additions since 2004. They've had their chance for the last twenty years, and they've chosen to do nothing because they've had no competition - using the park as a cash cow. If this new park comes along and blows them away, it'll be sort of justice for the years of underinvestment.
New UK theme park anyone? Paramount interested in UK

Chessington will only rot if Merlin let it, which they currently are. This 'should' be a good kick up the backside for Merlin to take note and see how the professionals do things, and if they want to remain in the market, they will have to compete
Sam said:
I love how most of that topic about a huge new theme park in the country we all live in is people worrying about what the effect will be their precious ickle Chessington. It must be the most overrated park in the UK. If this opening meant Chessie had to shut down, I wouldn't really care much.

It's a bit of a dump, with no decent additions since 2004. They've had their chance for the last twenty years, and they've chosen to do nothing because they've had no competition - using the park as a cash cow. If this new park comes along and blows them away, it'll be sort of justice for the years of underinvestment.

I don't actually see anyone worrying, people have discussed the effect on Chessie this would have but every post has been very positive about a new park and its hopefully positive effect on the rest of the industry.
I still say it will never happen. Every few years, someone comes up with a plan for a new theme park in the UK that will be "the next Disneyland", and they always just fade away with no further word.

Never underestimate the power of NIMBYs. They manage to ruin everything in this country. Remember, Warner wanted to build a park down the road from me in the early 90's, yet they put a stop to that. We had a Tory government then, too.

The trouble is that people in the UK view theme parks in the same light as nuclear power stations. All they are interested in is how it affects the value of their house. Any development that is not a school or park will be opposed by sad old biddies with nothing better to do.

I honestly think we will never see a new park in the UK.
Remember the real-life Gruntpuddle that was planned a few years ago to be built on some abandoned RAF base? It even included pretty a residential area and pretty much an entire new town as well as the park and museum. Not heard about that since the concept art about three years ago.

Fun in this country is a dirty word.
Diogo, I really think that the Kafka-esque bureaucratic NIMBY nightmare that you imagine Britain to be is almost entirely a fantasy of your own construction, fuelled by the Daily Mail. :p

Planning laws don't exist to stop people building cool things just as a punishment by the evil government. They exist to stop people building ugly and horrible things, like they do in the US. The reason that so many UK parks have problems with planning is that they were opened in stupid places to begin with, either sleepy residential areas or natural beauty spots. If these developers have done all their homework and have come up with an economically viable plan, they should have no problem at all. It appears they have. I just think your fatalistic beliefs about the (quite reasonable) planning system are a little hysterical.

Blaze, it's entirely speculation that the RAF base plan was cancelled due to planning/NIMBYS. It probably fell through for other reasons. It sounded like a pretty boring plan to be honest.
Sam said:
Planning laws don't exist to stop people building cool things just as a punishment by the evil government. They exist to stop people building ugly and horrible things

But to everyone except us, rollercoasters are "ugly and horrible things".
I'm not saying a word...but I'm holding my breath here... :-X

Having said that a new big theme park in the UK would be such a major boost for UK theme parks, it would certainly give Merlin an almighty wake up call. Though if only it was to be built in Scotland...
Ok, so I'm with Sam here 100%.

The economy is knackered and needs a big boost. No one will object to this (well, few will) - this Tory shambles (excuse the politics :D) are hell bent on relaxing planning applications on green belt land, so a bit of waste ground, near to Boris, is going to get a big green election light come submission time.

Diogo/Blaze - whilst I agree in principle, this one feels a bit different. Last Tory government was very different to this one - and for once, I actually think, this will be of benefit to this application - also, if roller coasters were big ugly things to everyone, we wouldn't have the creeping behemoth that is Merlin, slowly devouring our Theme Park/Attraction industry in the interests of very little bar profit. Whilst I find the majority of your points cogent, and well informed, in this case I think you are well wide of the mark.

I can understand the apprehension, indicative of those of us who have watched our parks struggle against planning regulations/neighbours for many years - I think a noisy few, will come up against a giant 27,000 JOB/economy etc spin machine that will suitably diminish any protestation.

I love Chessie, so hope it would survive by the way - but Merlin need someone to stamp on their toes. They're becoming far to cocksure and greedy. Let's hope this is a resounding success, and we could see some theming and atmosphere that has been arguably lacking in any measure, since the initial excitement of the frankly brilliant Oblivion - and a gigantic kick up the derriere for Merlin!

Best Regards,
This may be of some interest...

Kent's leaders have reacted to the major news a £2bn theme park - the size of a Disney attraction - could be built in the county.

It was revealed earlier today the international attraction on the Swanscombe Peninsula could feature Europe's largest indoor water park, theatres, live music venues, attractions, cinemas, restaurants, event space and hotels.

It could take Paramount 18 months to get planning permission for the large-scale project, with the theme park due to open in 2018.

It has been given a general thumbs-up from everyone from council leaders to those who live and work in the area.

John Burden, leader of Gravesham council, described the news as "a very exciting opportunity for the area".

He added: "We have been looking for something that will bring the area alive for some time.

"I think this will help not just the area of Dartford and Gravesham but the other areas in north west Kent.

"I have been actually dealing with the various promoters over the last 18 months to a year."

Paul Wookey, chief executive of Locate in Kent, the agency that promotes the county as a great place for business growth, said the project was of such a massive scale it could only be compared to a Disney theme park.

"This will be one of the biggest job creation projects we've ever seen in Kent, on the same scale as the likes of Disney.

"It's a great project to have in the county and ticks all the boxes. With the economy still struggling through recession, we must welcome projects of this type."

Kent County Council highways chief Cllr Bryan Sweetland (Con) said the park would need good road and motorway access.

He confirmed the Department for Transport is now looking at a significant variation to one of the three possible routes for an additional Thames Crossing.

Cllr Sweetland said: "The possibility of a new Thames Crossing at the Swanscombe peninsula must now be taken very seriously."

The complex will see 17,000 jobs created at the park, with another 10,000 among suppliers and service organisations.

The plan also includes proposals to raise the land and tackle flood risks along the waterfront.

Mark Dance, cabinet member for regeneration and economic development for Kent County Council, said the project was in line with some of the things the council had been doing concerning infrastructure.

That was to get the roads infrastructure in place to "excite" house building in and around Ebbsfleet and Eastern Quarry.

He said he saw visitors arriving via cruise and other ships, but he also believed the issue would put the third Thames crossing back on the map.

Jonathan Sundin, of Maison Maurice - a beer and soft drink wholesalers based on the Northfleet industrial estate nearby - said he knew nothing of the development until today.

He said: "I think something like this must be good for the general area.

"How it will affect local businesses in this part of the world - it is mostly industrial and there will probably be a conflict of interests somewhere along the line - is yet to be seen."

He said he was disappointed that he hadn't been informed, as he had put in plans and was looking to develop the company's site.


Nice to see the local council and the people living near this site are in-favour of these plans and see the benefits that this new park will have on the economy and those in need of a job, etc... I'm a little more hopeful for this now.

After a discussion/joint rant in the shoutbox a little earlier, I should have put a bet on the council wanting this to...
"excite" house building in and around Ebbsfleet and Eastern Quarry

Haha! :p

Edit: The Daily Mail (sorry :p ) has covered this now as well with some shots of the site and some maps too.

Daily Mail article.
This article is very good, featuring an interactive image showing each part of the development, including the "Entertainment Street" (centre) and "Events Space" (bottom right).
It also features a lot of local comments and such.
A concern looking at the map in the Daily Sieg Heil is that there'll be literally no room for expansion, short of demolishing Swanscombe or damming up the Thames.

Check out 'Best rated' comments on the Mail. All extremely positive. Combine that with the glowing praise from local officials in the Kent Online article and it seems that NIMBYs/planning won't be an issue. If the developers want to go through with it, it'll happen. The only real risk to this project is not finding the investment. :)
Also according to Kent Online's article, it confirms the blue blob building to be the waterpark

Fairly excited about this development, especially since it's relatively next door! Will be very useful for case studies for my course :p Will it be built? I do hope so. It is in a perfect position for transport, amenities and more land should be easily available if required, so I don't see why not.

Only problem with the area is that it's very industrial and whether a new theme park trying to take on the likes of Disneyland Paris would look that nice hustled in between warehouses, factories and ports, I don't know. If you've ever looked across while driving over the Dartford bridge, I'm sure you'd agree :p As described in the article from the Daily Mail, if this goes forward there will be a point at which either industry or leisure will prevail...let's just hope for our interests it'll be leisure :D
Sorry for spamming a bit, but I have another concern.

In any resort/destination style place like this, the theme park should be the jewel in the crown. The hotels/water park/conference centre/Citiwalk are all very nice, but they should play second fiddle to the main event.

It seems like here, the theme park is kinda lamely draped around the entertainment centre, which is the centrepiece. I fear that ordinary visitors will notice this, and feel a bit second-rate.

It kinda sends a less-than-subtle message of "Yeah we want you to come and enjoy the coasters, but we can REALLY raid your wallet with the food and drink!"

If they want to rival the world's great parks, they must make the park the headline attraction, a real icon, like Disneyland Park at DLP. Put the other stuff round the outside, and make the family day visitors feel they're at the heart of the action, rather than skirting around it. :)
To paraphrase a popular internet meme... "Footers or get the smeg out." ;)
It would be brilliant to have a Universal style theme park here in the UK. The atmosphere of such parks is always added to by the fact that the food/shopping outlets are all self contained within the park boundaries - it's certainly a necessity to have a Citywalk style section to the park anyway if it wants to compete with the big players in the USA and raise the bar here in the UK.

In regards to the site itself, it does very much look like a spectacular location - very comparable (if not in the volume of water itself) to Cedar Points placement. I would hazard a guess that they could also use the waterfront location for some spectacular shows/entertainment.

Let's hope this goes ahead and does break Merlin's dominance in the UK theme park industry - it would definitely provide some much needed competition.
Sam's made a good point about the park being around the edge. It does seem a little odd to have the park surrounding an entertainment area rather than having that together with the events space and using that area as an entrance to the park.

But we're at early stages in the project and I've no doubt that they'll change bits around as potential investors will want to know if their money is being used wisely, and if this company are wanting to make a park which might not be as successful as it should be, they'll want something doing about it.

The large entertainment area could be made slightly smaller and moved down to the events space to create a CityWalk style area but they can then make the park larger and combine it with small events areas and stages. If they're making a film and TV based park, mixing rides with stages and theatres for shows would be much better as that's Universal's recipe and it has served them well all these years.

Also, regarding the land; I wouldn't worry too much about the amount of land available. There's a lot of land. The site would be quite a bit bigger than Alton Towers. Alton Towers is made up of quite a lot of gardens and woodland, not forgetting the Towers themselves. This plot of land is very flat and there's nothing on it that can't be removed. So long as they build the park right, they should have stacks of room to play with.
The issue getting this park underway is money and i think that's why this article has come out, they are essentially looking for investors to put in funds to get this off the ground as they say in the article. Generally speaking investors are always a little wary of new Theme Parks because the infrastructure costs are so high before you even install a ride and so many new parks have struggled or failed (If Disneyland Paris didn't have the might of Disney behind it, the park would have closed years ago).

They clearly don't have the money at the moment hence this little piece of PR, and if anything stops this project it will be the money.
New UK theme park anyone? Paramount interested in UK

Love this. Can only dream that it happens!

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