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London Entertainment Resort: All Discussion

Or an incredibly boring proposal that will only attract local pensioners and a few conservationists. There are plenty of parks out there that are integrated into their natural environments, Efteling is a great example of one.
As it stands, a nature reserve is all that place is ever going to have any remote chance of being. The traffic situation is absolutely god awful and there's zero appetite for a new leisure attraction of this scale with the longest recession since records began now on the horizon. There's a mass of environmental opposition and the local businesses need some sort of certainty to allow them to actually progress their own business plans.

Yes it's "boring" to some, but as discussed time and time again in the 98 pages of this topic, the site itself is completely unsuitable for the new theme park that we as enthusiasts want. If ever we were to get something new in this country, it needs to be with a much better vision than the absolute mess that LRCH came up with.
Parks and nature reserves can become quite popular attractions in their own right. Near me Dunstable Downs is literally just a visitor centre with a shop & cafe, and lots of hills yet the place is incredibly popular with those who want to go on a long walk or cycle ride, fly a kite or just have a cup of tea.
If you want a new theme park, simply take over the M&D's site, kick the useless owners out and have fun with that land! :p At least that area has far better and already existing transport connections compared to what this supposed park was to have.

Or I'm just crying out for some quality closer to home and not Kent.
Oh I completely agree that LRCH have created an abominable situation with local businesses, I've spoken with a handful of them already on various occasions and empathise fully with their predicament, and of course I can't see any investment being pumped into such a project until our economy is healthy again. But one thing I can't agree with on principal is the conservationists' demands to just throw such a valuable proposition down the drain entirely, when LRCH can and should (once they have made arrangements with the local businesses to buy their land and finally relocate those businesses) reach a compromise to create a more European style destination that is better integrated into its natural surroundings, with maybe a hotel or earmarked coaster site sacrificed to the conservation area they proposed, or a vastly scaled back resort altogether (the latter would be the most realistic given that our market can't sustain a resort of this magnitude). There's definitely a happy medium in there somewhere in which both parties walk away satisfied.

Ultimately, a fortune and professional people's time and resources have been wasted for a decade on this project, so to see it all go to waste completely would be a travesty.

In regards to the traffic, haven't LRCH spoken at length about relying on public transport? I'm sure they said that the majority of their guests would travel in by train rather than by car?
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I doubt we will ever see a mega new theme park resort built in this country anywhere. There just far too much red tape and too many obstacles to navigate now compared to 30 / 40 years ago.

I think it could happen, but is more likely to be on a brownfield site, or the reincarnation of an existing site. Also needs to be close to decent transport links.
This project failed because it was the wrong location from day one, not the best for transport, too many uncertainties over wildlife in that site etc.
In regards to the traffic, haven't LRCH spoken at length about relying on public transport? I'm sure they said that the majority of their guests will travel in by train rather than by car?
I can't see that actually being the case though as it is the wrong side of London so wouldn't be possible for a lot of people to do it as a day trip easily. They might think a majority will use train, but I expect in reality many would rather use a car.
The Camelot site has been sitting like that for a decade now and nothing has been done with it. Perfect location too given how densely populated the North West is. 20 mins from where I live too.

I just don't think there's much appetite to get into the industry. It's such a risky business and there are far easier and quicker ways to make money.
In regards to the traffic, haven't LRCH spoken at length about relying on public transport? I'm sure they said that the majority of their guests would travel in by train rather than by car?
They have, but a lot of that talk was on the basis of planned infrastructure projects being delivered on time, rather than actual options in place already. Off the top of my head, the plans featured:
  • Lower Thames Crossing - This new Thames crossing is going through (another) consultation at the moment, so there's no realistic date for this to be finished at present. TFL and National Highways raised objections due to this.
  • Car parks over in Tilbury - Tilbury Docks have since reconsidered their own expansion and one of the parcels of land earmarked is no longer available.
  • Uber Boats/Thames Clippers - Probably one of the more viable options, but again this route isn't a thing right now.
  • Extending the Elizabeth Line - I mean we know how long Crossrail itself took...
  • Utilising Ebbsfleet International - HS1 and Network Rail submitted objections as there is insufficient capacity or expansion space in St Pancras to cope and there would need to be a massive upgrade to Kings Cross to even start to deliver the platform capacity needed. Of course we also have the issue of Eurostar not stopping at Ebbsfleet currently too, thanks to the changes in the political situation and Covid. Whether or not they'll return is up in the air for the foreseeable.
Some of the transport options above were already in place (e.g. Ebbsfleet) with the option since being removed, others such as an extension to Elizabeth Line wouldn't be a reality for at least a decade, probably even longer due to the country's current financial situation.

For planning to have any remote chance of being granted, the above options would need to be tangible in progress projects. At present, even if LRCH did have plenty of funding in place, there's not a chance they'd have the go-ahead to start construction with transport infrastructure in its current state.
I must say that I actually think the location that was chosen for this project isn't ideal, even putting aside the SSSI-related hurdles that the Swanscombe Peninsula now entails.

I know that the site they've chosen is close to London, but from my perspective, one key pitfall it has is that it's far away from much of the rest of England by virtue of it being in Kent. Even within the London area, I reckon that they could have chosen a more ideal location.

For instance, I reckon that somewhere around the North West of London (along the lines of where London Heathrow Airport is located, and where Thorpe Park sits just outside the boundary of Greater London) would have been a stronger location. It would still have had the advantages of the London Resort site that was chosen in terms of proximity to Central London, but it would have also facilitated easier access from the rest of England; for instance, certain boroughs in the North West of London can be accessed in less than a 2 hour drive from Birmingham (the 2nd largest population centre in Britain, and the gateway to much of the Midlands). The chosen London Resort site takes 3 hours from Birmingham. Not to mention that London Heathrow Airport, the country's largest airport and one of the largest airports in the world, would have been located very nearby. This would have allowed for international visitors to fly in to a very heavily served London airport and access the resort easily, whereas the chosen London Resort site does not have that luxury; the drive time between Heathrow and the chosen LER site is over 1 hour. Even I, travelling from Gloucestershire, can reach Heathrow in under 2 hours...

Even still, if you look outside London, I personally feel that somewhere like Birmingham could have been a more ideal site for a UK theme park, particularly if catering primarily to the domestic crowd. Take a Birmingham borough like Solihull, for instance. Located in the South East of Birmingham, it's less than 2 hours from parts of North London and no more than 2.5 hours from many other parts of London, but it's also no more than 2 hours from many of the Northern population centres like Manchester and Liverpool, and it's very close to a population of ~3m (the Birmingham Metropolitan Area). A theme park site there would have had wide reach, being located less than 3 hours from most of England. It's not like it would have had no international visitation potential either, because Birmingham Airport, one of the country's largest airports, is located very close to that area. The M42 also runs very close, so motorway access is good. Correct me if I'm wrong here, but I seem to remember reading that a site in the South East of Birmingham, close to the NEC and Birmingham Airport, was strongly tipped to be the British nomination for a EuroDisney (now DLP) site, and I can certainly see why. To be honest, I'm quite surprised that the only theme park directly serving Birmingham is Drayton Manor... it seems like quite an ideal location for a UK theme park, from where I'm standing.

Back to the London Resort site, though; it's not even especially close to Central London compared to competitors. CWOA is no further away, and Thorpe isn't much further away. CWOA also has a key advantage of actually being within the boundary of Greater London while the intended London Resort site isn't, meaning that it is served by the London public transport network (I think?). This gives CWOA an advantage in easy travel to and from the park from within Central London (which I'm honestly surprised that Merlin doesn't exploit more, but that's besides the point), which the London Resort site would not have.

Come to think of it; why was the Swanscombe Peninsula actually chosen?
Lower Thames Crossing is a big old project that's actually probably going to happen and it's taking forever. The difference is between that and London Resort is over 10 years, things have happened unless they like renting construction kit for fun.