Businesses in Swanscombe have criticised the London Paramount project for putting jobs at risk with a “pie-in-the-sky" timeframe as the project begins to move forward with applications.

London Paramount look to put in planning application in November in order to put the project on track to open in 2022.

CEO of London Paramount Resort, Humphrey Percy, said: “We have had very strong support locally and a lot of interest.

“This will be the first theme park of its kind on the UK. We have energised the project with the target of opening in 2022.

“We want to have a resort that will appeal to the entire family. A full experience for them.

“This means it has to have the wow factor, everything has and will be first class to qualify as a ‘tier one’ resort.”

Peninsula Management Group, who represent 140 businesses occupying land on the potential resort site, have criticised the proposals.

A spokesman said: “We are not against London Paramount, but we have businesses here that need to be compensated.

“These are family businesses, they might end having to relocate 20 miles. That would mean moving a family as well.

“There are 2,700 jobs at risk, we are in the most strategically important part of the plot they require.”

London Paramount said they have been in contact with the group are working with local authorities to push the scheme forward.

Mr Percy said: “We want to really move forward with this. We have had some great support from Dartford, Gravesham and Thurrock council.

“They are frankly, really keen to see the jobs and opportunity. We are in close proximity to London and Ebbsfleet international - we are expecting a huge market and we want people going to London to come to our theme park and open Kent up.

“We want to be one of the best resorts in the world and I think we are on the right track.”

London Paramount will employ around 27,000 people.

Peninsula Management Group said the timeframe proposed for the project is unrealistic.

The spokesman said: “The pie-in-the sky timescales are totally unrealistic unless they intend to just close businesses down, make 000s unemployed and bulldoze the site flat.”

London Paramount said they are in contact with Peninsula Management Group and are planning a meeting