New £2bn theme park in Kent threatened by colony of rare spiders?

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New £2bn theme park in Kent threatened by colony of rare spiders

Plans for a new £2 billion Paramount movie theme park in Kent could have to be put on hold following the discovery of rare spider colony on the site.

An environmental audit of the brownfield site at Swanscombe Peninsula, Kent, discovered the group of jumping spiders, which can only be found in one other place in the UK, the West Thurrock marshes in Essex.

The spiders have made a home in the area as they flourish in the alkaline soil created from cement kiln dust created by former workers on the site.

The spiders are on the UK Biodiversity Action Plan priority species list, although they are not actually legally protected, according to Kent News.

According to the Daily Mail, the Joint Nature Conservation Committee have deemed the species as being one that requires conservation.

The theme park planners , London Resort Company Holdings (LRCH), will either have to find a new site for the arachnids, or find a way to accommodate them.

Tony Sefton, project director for LRCH, said they could create a 27-acre wetland wildlife park at the attraction where the spiders could continue thriving.

He told the Independent: "We will look after the spiders. We're doing a good thing.

"The alkaline land is dreadful for most forms of wildlife. But there is this particular spider that likes very alkaline conditions."

Dartford Borough Council leader Jeremy Kite said there are solutions to preserving unusual species.

According to Yahoo News, he said: "In the past we've moved fish, we've sent voles away on holiday; it's fairly common and protects them from building works.

"Then when they're finished they're brought back."

If it goes ahead, the Paramount theme park will be home to Europe's largest indoor water park, as well as boasting theatres, cinemas, restaurants, hotels, and live music venues.

Thanks to the 872-acre site, it would be the third biggest theme park in the world - being twice the size of the Olympic Park - and could create 27,000 jobs.

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