Croc shock: Alligator farm plan for Old Kent Road abandoned after animal rights backlash

Josh Salisbury (28 August, 2020)

The attraction would've seen alligators housed in 20m tanks on the busy road

34259A CGI of the idea

A proposed alligator park and farm for the Old Kent Road has been abandoned.

The developer Avanton has admitted the park will not go ahead after opposition from animal rights activists, the council and residents.

The barmy idea would have seen the outer structure of a gasholder turned into a conservatory for the alligators, with tanks going 20m deep.

It would have been at the centre of a £230m development, standing as a tourist attraction.

Animal rights charities had slammed the idea, first floated in January, as “exploitation” of the alligators, and an Old Kent Road councillor had called the idea a “joke.”

Now developers have junked the plan.

“The proposed Alligator Park was something devised along with several other options including a community park, and also a lido with water features,” an Avanton spokesperson told the News.

“After consultation with both the council and local community, there was significant push-back on the alligator park concept, so it has been shelved.”

Now a “community park” is planned, with more details in the New Year. The developer had originally said the idea had come about because someone had approached them asking if they had a location that could be used as an alligator park.

Animal rights charity, World Animal Protection, said it welcomed the news.

“Alligators are wild animals and should be in their natural environment, not living in a busy urban environment as part of a novelty commercial venture,” said the charity’s Katheryn Wise.

“We urge the developer to think twice in future before creating plans that include wildlife exploitation.”

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