The leader of Gravesham Borough Council Cllr John Burden has issued the following statement in the wake of media reports of rare distinguished jumping spider (sitticus distinguendus) on Swanscombe Peninsula where the Paramount Resort is being proposed. It is one of only two sites in the UK where these spiders live – the other being across the river on West Thurrock marshes.

Cllr Burden said: “Our planners have been aware of the existence of these spiders for some time and raised the issue with the developers more than a year ago in order for it to be incorporated in the overall bio-diversity plans for the site and, in particular, with a view to including the habitat in the country park envisaged for part of this massive site.

“The developer has always approached the issue of bio-diversity and wildlife concerns in a mature and enlightened way as we are confident that London Resort Company Holdings will resolve this issue satisfactorily. There is absolutely no question that the scheme has been derailed as has been reported.”