We have adjusted the layout of the Masterplan, including changes which are designed to make better use of opportunities to improve and enhance the structure of the landscape across the area. These enhancements will also have recreational benefits and deliver positive impacts – we are committed to achieving a net gain in biodiversity.
A central part of our landscape strategy is to showcase and enhance the natural features of the Swanscombe Peninsula and riverside location, integrating them seamlessly into our designs. A large proportion of the Peninsula landscape will remain undeveloped and will be enhanced, principally for wildlife and biodiversity benefits – this includes extensive areas of marshland and scrub land across Black Duck Marsh, Botany Marshes and Broadness Salt Marsh. The Tilbury site consists of largely commercial warehouses and dockland buildings, along with a Grade II listed Terminal and a floating jetty. We will apply appropriate design to reduce or avoid physical impacts, as well as create opportunities to enhance the terminal access and public experience.
We are committed to ensuring the biodiversity value of the area is not disadvantaged by the London Resort. We will ensure that there is a net gain in biodiversity by taking onsite habitat remediation into account and retain existing ecologically important features and habitats where possible. Surveys to date have shown that parts of the Peninsula include important habitats and flora. The area also includes habitats for protected species such as wintering and breeding birds, bats, dormice, harvest mice, reptiles and a wide variety of invertebrates. We will undertake a range of mitigation measures, which includes tree and hedgerow planting and active scrub management to preserve habitats within the site that support such a wide variety of species. We will also create protected ‘zones’ to allow some areas to remain completely undisturbed by public access to enhance biodiversity and ecology.
River and marine ecology
Our surveys and assessments are continuing to help us further understand the ecology of the river in terms of water quality, and marine habitats and species, that could be affected by the Project. This could include invertebrates, fish and marine mammals, including seals and porpoises. We are ensuring that we can protect and enhance wildlife and natural habitats where possible throughout our plans for the proposed development. We will also implement protective measures to reduce the effects of boats using the jetty and river during operation, and to mitigate impacts on marine ecology associated with jetty construction and remedial works.
Where the loss of habitats cannot be adequately mitigated within the site, a range of compensatory options are being explored. This may include the change in management of land offsite to create marshland and grassland habitats.
Public walkways and cycle paths
Our proposals include an improved network of pedestrian and cycle routes including walkways within the marsh habitats and a riverside route. Some areas will remain completely undisturbed by public access in order to protect and enhance biodiversity and ecology.
Minimising construction impacts
Works will be phased in particular areas to avoid seasonal disturbances at critical times, such as during bird nesting and migration seasons; this include impacts of noise and vibration, lighting, and air quality (including dust). Fencing will be robustly maintained to protect retained and newly created habitats during construction.
Much of the land presents a legacy of contamination. The development will incorporate measures to mitigate these risks and improve the natural environment.
The activities associated with the London Resort will have the potential to impact local air quality during both the construction and operational phases of the development. Site-wide measures will be implemented to limit the generation of dust during construction, while our transport strategy encourages the use of sustainable travel to reduce emissions. We have assessed the existing baseline conditions using local authority air quality monitoring data. We will continue to assess air quality at a number of points across the Project site and surrounding areas. This will help us to ensure that environmental conditions are regularly monitored and appropriate measures put in place to reduce the impact on surrounding communities.
Noise and vibration
We are assessing the potential noise and vibration effects created by the construction and operation of the London Resort. A combination of measures are being considered in order to reduce impacts. These include making use of buildings within the London Resort itself to act as noise barriers, phasing and zoning of construction work, careful planning to consider the distance of rides, attractions and event spaces from nearby residential and other sensitive areas, and the creation of noise barriers and screening, making use of using natural materials where possible. Our transport strategy includes measures to encourage sustainable modes of transport including public transport, electric vehicles and cycling, helping to reduce noise levels from traffic.
Water resource management
Surface water flows, arising from rainfall, will flow through sustainable drainage systems across the site to manage and minimise the risk of pollution to the water environment.
Where necessary, earth shaping will be used to provide a flood resilient design. We will also breach the old flood defences to allow a new area of salt marsh to develop along the river frontage. We will ensure compliance with the Environment Agency’s Thames Estuary 2100 strategy for managing flood risk in the Thames Estuary.
Sustainable development and operation
We are promoting a sustainable development, with a net zero operational carbon target, making it one of the most sustainable theme parks in the world. Sustainable and low-carbon principles are integrated across the emerging Masterplan, in terms of design, construction and operation. Net zero means that any emissions would be balanced by recognised schemes to offset an equivalent amount of greenhouse gases from the atmosphere, such as planting trees or using technology to support greater energy efficiencies. We will also adopt the concept of a ‘circular economy’, which seeks to keep resources in use for as long as possible. This is the opposite of the traditional ‘make, use, dispose’ approach and works to minimise the creation of waste, pollution and carbon emissions. This approach will be implemented during the construction, as well as the operation, of the London Resort wherever possible. We are continuing to evolve our thinking on the Project’s operations in order to promote enhanced sustainability. At this stage, this includes developing a food and beverage delivery plan, procurement arrangements, operational waste management and development of the proposals for a carbon neutral set of operations.
Utilities and energy supply
The London Resort will incorporate comprehensive provisions for energy infrastructure, with an emphasis on resilience and sustainability. The energy strategy will be designed to support the net zero operational carbon target and embrace efficiency, taking full advantage of on-site opportunities and integrating offsite measures. Our intention is that the energy needed to operate the London Resort will be generated where possible by optimised on-site low-carbon and renewable generating technologies such as solar panels and heat pumps, integrating storage and intelligently managing demand to deliver a dynamic energy system fit for the future.
Security and safety provisions
A security strategy will be developed in consultation with the emergency and security services to cover both routine incidents and those emergencies of a larger scale. The strategy includes complex physical design, including a secure fence set amongst vegetation, security technologies and security staffing. A primary objective is to facilitate emergency services requirements within the London Resort, both in terms of access and facilities, to support safety and wellbeing. The site will also include security, medical and fire response facilities in the event of accidents and emergencies. A helipad will be provided for medical evacuation and occasional VIP use.