RIVER boat services could be one way Thurrock will get access to a multi billion pound theme park in Kent.
Thurrock Council leader Rob Gledhill is aiming to meet bosses over how the borough can support and get access to the Paramount Theme Park.
The resort on the Swanscombe Peninsula, near Dartford, would be twice the size of the Olympic Park and include 5,000 hotel rooms and a water park.
It comes as plans for the attraction, due to be built in Kent, have yet to be sent to the government, with developer London Resort Company Holdings, delaying submitting its planning application until this year while more consultations take place.
After holding original discussions after the project was first mooted in October 2012, Mr Gledhill is hoping to kick off discussions once again with council chiefs over the Thames border and Theme Park bosses over how Thurrock can access and benefit from the park.
Mr Gledhill hopes the project will dovetail with Grays' proposed £10.8 million masterplan, and aims for the pier to play a crucial role.
He said: “While their full application is yet to be submitted to the Planning Inspectorate, I am keen to ensure Thurrock takes advantage of all the opportunities the new attraction may bring to the whole region.
“There has been no better time to continue the discussion now Thurrock’s ambitious Grays Masterplan has been kickstarted with the recent announcement of £10.8million Government funding through the Local Growth Fund.
“We cannot continue to just look inward for opportunities and we are making our own preparations for potential integration – as part of the Grays Masterplan includes a proposed pier to accommodate river bus services – including across to the new Paramount Park.
“Whilst these are currently all just ambitions, I’m pleased the early Paramount proposals recognize the opportunities of services like this from Tilbury and Grays.
“We will do all we can to integrate ideas to ensure Thurrock residents benefit from access to jobs, supply chain and amenities. The last thing I want is Thurrock to be ‘the place you pass through to get to Paramount’.
"But of course, we have no decision making power on this application, so early discussions are paramount for Paramount and will be speaking to Kent colleagues and the applicant as soon as possible.”