New Thames crossing 'helpful' to Disneyland Paris rival

Computer-generated image of proposed entertainment resort
Image caption The resort would be built on the site of an old cement works and include Europe's largest indoor water park

A new Thames crossing near a proposed £2bn entertainment resort aiming to rival Disneyland Paris would be "beneficial and helpful", Kent County Council has said.

The Department for Transport is currently looking at three routes.

The leader of the council said a route from the Swanscombe Peninsula, where the resort would be based, had been altered with the resort in mind.

Gravesend and Dartford are other options being considered.

The developers say the resort could create up to 27,000 jobs, and Gravesend and Dartford borough councils have said they support the project.

Paramount Pictures has granted a licence to developer London Resort Company Holdings (LRCH) to use its name on the complex, however investment is still being sought.

'Built and fast'

Image caption Swanscombe Peninsula is one of three potential sites for a new Thames crossing

Paul Carter, leader of Kent County Council, said he supported a new crossing.

"There's real recognition in Whitehall that the third Thames crossing needs to be built and fast," he said.

"We've been in dialogue with the Department for Transport to make sure the leisure scheme on the peninsula doesn't adversely affect that as a potential location.

"I understand that access to a third Thames crossing on the peninsula has been moved around to accommodate Paramount's proposals."

Gravesham Friends of the Earth has raised concerns over traffic worsening current congestion on the Dartford Crossing and the A2.

The 900-acre brown-field site is next to Ebbsfleet International station, which is 17 minutes from London St Pancras and two hours from Paris.

The developers said they hoped to be able to open in 2018.

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