Plans for £3.5billion 'UK Disneyland' thrown into chaos over 1cm spider

4 March 2022, 10:10 | Updated: 4 March 2022, 11:24

ITV and BBC have pulled out of the theme park plans
ITV and BBC have pulled out of the theme park plans. Picture: London Paramount/ Getty Images
Heart reporter

By Heart reporter

Plans for the UK's answer to Disneyland have been scuppered due to wildlife in the area.

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It looks like work on a huge new theme park in the UK has been put on hold again after both ITV and BBC pulled out.

This country’s ‘answer to Disneyland’ has been in the works for years, but now activists are opposing the plans due to a tiny endangered spider the size of a fingernail.

The London Resort is planning to build their 1,150-acre theme park on the Swanscombe Peninsula along the River Thames in Kent.

The London Resort was due to start work this year
The London Resort was due to start work this year. Picture: London Paramount

According to Mail Online, locals are arguing this will damage wildlife habitats in the area, including that of a critically endangered jumping spider only found in one other place in the UK.

The Distinguished jumping spider is incredibly rare and is a conservation priority, which has been placed on the UK list of Biodiversity Action Plan species.

The spider's only other habitat in the UK is in the West Thurrock Marshes in Essex.

Swanscombe Peninsula is also home to more than 1,700 invertebrate species, and a quarter of the UK's water beetles, as well as being the home of wading birds and other marine wildlife.

The jumping spider is endangered in the UK
The jumping spider is endangered in the UK. Picture: Getty Images

The theme park was also due to feature rollercoasters based on much loved BBC and ITV shows like Doctor Who, Thunderbirds, Top Gear and Sherlock.

But now the broadcasters have pulled out, saying it is in 'direct conflict' with their credentials.

A spokesman from the BBC told us: "BBC Studios has no commercial agreement in place with London Resort and no current plans to enter into any agreement.

“We would only consider doing so should there be clear and decisive evidence that the project would have a net positive environmental impact."

An ITV spokesman added to MailOnline: "ITV's arrangement with the London Resort was that we were a potential licensor of one of our children's brands, which was Thunderbirds.

“We can confirm that ITV no longer has a commercial arrangement with London Resort as the agreement has now ended. This means that Thunderbirds will not be a part of the park."

Plans for London Resort also feature a High Street complete with shops, restaurants, hotels, a convention centre and a waterpark.

A spokesman from the theme park told us: "Nobody ever said major infrastructure projects were easy or quick. We look forward to delivering the first top tier theme park for the UK."

Heart.co.uk has reached out to ITV for comment.