Plans to build a £2 billion Paramount theme park in the Thames Estuary near London have been delayed after a colony of rare spiders was discovered on the site.
The Independent reports that the site on the Swanscombe Peninsula in Kent is home to the distinguished jumping spider, making it one of only two places in the UK to host the species. In order to proceed with the theme park project, the spiders will have to safely re-homed.
London Resort Company Holdings, the consortium of firms behind the park which includes Development Securities, France's Lafarge and Canadian construction company Brookfield Multiplex, hopes to build a 27-acre wetland wildlife park close to the theme park. This would host the spiders, as well as a variety of other species.
Significant barriers remain to making the Paramount park a reality, with securing funding and planning consent likely to prove the biggest challenges. LHRC previously claimed that the park could open by 2018 if the project runs smoothly.
If it is eventually built, the Paramount resort will also include an indoor water park, an entertainment district, music venues and hotels. Unlike Paramount Parks, the studio's previous theme park venture (which was sold to Cedar Fair in 2006), the new park is set to be owned and operated entirely by outside investors. Paramount Pictures' involvement is likely be limited to licensing intellectual properties for use in attractions, and to providing conceptual masterplanning and design for the project.