Huge £3.5bn ‘Britain’s Disneyland’ plans could have ‘homage to rare spider’

A massive £3.5bn theme park dubbed Britain's Disneyland could include a "homage to a spider".

The rare spider which can jump in the air to catch its prey has sparked a challenge to plans for 535-hectare London Resort in the Thames Estuary.

Conservationists said the 5mm-long distinguished jumping spider was one of hundreds of "at-risk" species threatened by the proposals.

An insider told the Daily Star that the attraction due to open in Swanscombe Peninsula in Kent in 2024 could now include a "homage to a spider".

He added the spider was one of many important species found on the site by its workers in 2013 and that he was "hopeful" London Resort will announce the brands it was working with soon.

Asked if the theme park could have a "spider-themed ride", he said: "I'm not aware of any plans."

But then added: "A homage to a spider… never say never."

Developers of the 1,160-acre movie-themed park claim the plans will "enhance wildlife habitat creation" and generate up to 30,000 jobs.

The theme park's backers say it would create 30,000 jobs and have rides inspired by shows from BBC Studios, ITV Studios and Paramount Pictures, alongside hotels, restaurants and a conference centre.

When complete, it will be three times larger than any other park in the UK – spanned across 535 acres, the equivalent of 136 Wembley Stadiums.

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Around 70% of the attractions undercover to cope with the unpredictable English weather.

The insider's comments came after nature-lovers applied for the marshland to be designated a Site of Special Scientific Interest, protecting it from developers.

A spokesman for Buglife, a conservation group, said the area – between Dartford and Gravesend – is an "outstanding" wildlife site.

  • London Resort: Plans for £2.5billion 'UK Disneyland' challenged as rare spider found on site

A spokesman for the Environment Agency said: "Natural England is aware of the wildlife importance of land on the Swanscombe Peninsula.

"It is considering whether land on the Swanscombe Peninsula should be proposed for notification as a Site of Special Scientific Interest."

He added: "It expects to complete its assessment and make a decision on whether the Swanscombe Peninsula should be notified as an SSSI in early 2021."

Meanwhile, the Planning Inspectorate last month confirmed it will review the planning bid.

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