Original article from Kent Live
Workers building Kent's new 'Disneyland' resort could be housed in cruise ships on the Thames, the company leading the project has said.
The park, which will be known as the London Resort despite its location, will cost an eye-watering £3.5 billion.
At peak building time around 2,000 labourers will be needed for the park and the firm are giving the idea of cruise ship housing "serious consideration".
The idea is a result of a lack of rental accommodation options in Essex and Kent.
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But the London Resort said there had already been “several approaches” from ferry companies for the sale or lease of their vessels.
The boats would be docked in nearby Tilbury, Essex on the other side of the river.
If the planning application for the project goes to plan then work on-site will begin in 2022, although significant local opposition remains.
Unions have raised concerns about the risk the ships could become “floating prisons”.
Unite the Union’s national officer for construction Jerry Swain said: "On the face of it this looks like an attractive option for workers.
"However, it is essential that the cruise ships don't in reality become an expensive prison.
"At the moment, due to COVID-19, there is a huge surplus of cruise ships but, when that market recovers, it would be immoral to force workers into clapped-out hulks."
Mr Swain added that it was important that workers "leave the ship and visit the local community".
Temporary worker accommodation on this scale would be unprecedented for a project with such proximity to a major city.
Due to its rural location, substantial housing for workers was installed in and around the Hinkley Point C project in Somerset, with a 500-bed onsite campus and a 1,000 room facility at a town nearby.
However, the isolated nature of the sites was a factor in many workers’ poor mental health.
A 2019 newspaper report found there was a “mental health crisis” at Hinkley with “loneliness, relationship breakdown and the struggle of being sometimes hundreds of miles away from family,” cited as drivers behind a high suicide rate.