Construction Projects Kent

Projects That Haven’t Quite Got Off the Ground in Kent

Solar FarmManston Airport closed in 2014, and plans to transform it into a strategic air freight hub have been put on hold. RiverOak Strategic Partners [RSP], were prepared to invest £300m into turning Manston Airport into a “global freight hub”. Their director Tony Freudmann has over 30 years of experience in travel and aviation. He is also the former chairman of PlaneStation plc’s European airport group.

Freudmann says that more air freight is urgently needed by the UK, for long haul shipping of goods. Even before Brexit there was a lack of domestic air freight capacity, meaning goods had to be taken across the English Channel via truck. Rather than being flown directly from airports in the UK, they were flown in and out of continental airports. Manston airport was believed to be a solution to many issues around import and export of goods. Local residents have complained about the project going against UK carbon emission targets and there have been other objections. The proposed site, has been used for lorry parking during Operation Stack to ease lorry freight at nearby ports.

UK’s Answer to Disney World and a Rare Spider, Swanscombe Peninsula

‘The UK’s answer to Disneyworld’, has been the nickname for London Paramount, a £3.5billion theme park near the Swanscombe Peninsula, Kent. When up and running it’s thought the venue could attract around 50,000 tourists per day. There have been many delays, and the project was rebranded ‘The London Resort’, with an uncertain future, and a new proposed opening date of 2025.

The London Resort will be located on the banks of the Thames, and was to feature Dr Who and Top Gear themed rides. There was also meant to be activities around ITV’s Thunderbirds, but none of these will now happen. This is due to the presence of a rare, tiny jumping spider which could be impacted by the park, leading the BBC and ITV to pull out of the scheme.

Towering Ebbsfleet Horse, Kent

Ten years ago there were plans announced to build the ‘Angel of the South’, in the form of a 160 foot white horse at Ebbsfleet. The sculpture would have a steel frame topped with concrete for the outer body. Roughly the same height as Nelson’s Column, It was the popular choice for the Ebbsfleet Landmark Project, a £2m public art commission. Planning permission was granted but the project never saw the light of day!

A number of factors sealed the horses fate including the fact that the estimated cost of £2m quickly shot up to over £10m. The country entered a financial crisis in 2007/8, and the project was not seen as a priority. So although never formally cancelled, the project is extremely unlikely to be carried out.

Largest Solar Farm in UK Faversham, Kent

The developers responsible for Cleve Hill Solar Park in Graveney, are looking at a site in Faversham for their next project. A colossal solar park covering 1,000 acres to contain 800,000 panels, providing electricity to more than 91,000 homes. Planned to become operational in 2023, the £450 million scheme has faced significant opposition from many including Kent Wildlife Trust.

If it is completed as planned, it will consist of a solar farm and a habitat management area, followed by construction of the huge energy storage facility. This is in effect a battery generating power for the site. There are however, a large number of requirements within the planning stages that need to be fulfilled before commencement. These require close consultations with bodies such as Health and Safety Executive, Natural England, Kent Fire and Rescue Service, the Environment Agency and local councils. It is claimed that Cleve Hill will bring £1 million a year in revenue to local authorities and create jobs within the area. It is also perceived as an important factor in the UK’s target of net-zero emissions by 2050.

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