Worried residents have been issued an apology after mistakenly being sent “terribly distressing” letters indicating their homes may be under threat from a major theme park.
The £5 billion London Resort project – dubbed Britain’s answer to Disneyland – is set to be constructed on the Swanscombe Peninsula.
But it was land nearly five miles away on the Bean Triangle which caused a storm with residents last week after a letter was mistakenly sent by an agent, earmarking it as wanted territory.
The letter, sent by chartered surveyors Ardent, read: “I see from documents produced by London Resort Company Holdings (LRCH) that your property may be affected by the London Resort Scheme.
“The Development Consent Order (DCO), if approved, will provide the various consents needed for the project, including planning permission and compulsory acquisition powers.”
Substantial improvements are proposed to transport infrastructure in the area as part of the resort’s plans, including a new direct road connection from the A2
However, it is understood by residents and businesses that a boundary revision in its latest July scoping report means it will only affect highways at Bean, and not occupied land.
Bean Resident’s Association wrote to Ardent and London Resort bosses seeking clarification for what was branded “terribly distressing” and “unforgiveable” letters.
Assistant secretary Ashley Johnson said: “This has been very upsetting. Ardent worked for LRCH and sent letters in 2015 warning Bean Triangle residents and businesses of compulsory acquisition.
“Five years later they used this personal information to again warn Bean owners of compulsory acquisition powers for London Resort.
“What they failed to do was notice that the London Resort boundary had been redrawn to only encompass highways at Bean.”
Ardent noted a discrepancy between the boundary information provided on the Planning Inspectorate portal, which it had based its letters on, and that included in the consultation.
The chartered surveyors apologised for any distress its letters may have caused and said it had been carefully worded to avoid confusion.
London Resort explained the reason for this boundary discrepancy was timing around the ongoing A2 Bean junction improvement works.
A spokesman for the resort said: “The order limits for the London Resort were revised following the Secretary of State for Transport’s decision, of June 2 2020, for the A2 Bean and Ebbsfleet junction improvements by Highways England.
“LRCH made the decision to revise the order limits and remove the majority of the Bean junction.”
It added: “The London Resort has maintained inclusion of the on and off slip roads to allow for minor adjustments if required.”
With regards to the letters received by residents, London Resort commented it had not had any involvement.
“LRCH has not engaged Ardent and not been involved at all in their issuing of letters,” said Andy Martin, communications director for London Resort.
“If there are other residents who have been contacted in a similar fashion by Ardent, and who are concerned we encourage them to contact Ardent immediately.”
A virtual public consultation on the proposals concluded last month and bosses say they are currently reviewing feedback.
Final plans are expected to be submitted before the end of the year.
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