Princes Parade

Prince's Parade across the Royal Military CanalShepway Green Party believes there should be no development on Princes Parade, with a need to preserve green, open spaces such as this between our local communities.

In 2012 Shepway District Council started employing consultants to look at developing the land they own at Princes Parade. At that time they were looking at a new leisure centre, a new Seabrook primary school and some housing. On 28 May 2014 Shepway’s cabinet passed a resolution that there would be a maximum of 36 houses on the site.

On 13 April 2016 land use maps were presented to cabinet that showed at least 150 new homes, a leisure centre and the diversion of the existing road away from the seafront (the school has now been ruled out). Cabinet passed a resolution that a planning application would be prepared on the basis of these diagrams – the previous resolution about 36 houses seemingly ignored. Shepway tried to exclude the public from this meeting on the basis that a third party – later revealed to be Hythe & Saltwood Sailing Club – was involved.

In February 2017, Shepway’s cabinet agreed to submit a planning application. We believe that was submitted to the district council in August 2017 and will be published and open for comments any day now. For guidance on how to object to this application, click here. Princes Parade has been allocated as a development site in the draft local plan. There is due to be a final consultation on this in Autumn 2017 before the draft plan is submitted to the Planning Inspectorate, with the examination in public expected to be early 2018.

The site is currently designated partly for recreational use and mainly as open space. These designations are under review as part of Shepway’s local plan process. Shepway Green Party believes that this unique open space should remain undeveloped for the benefit of local people, visitors to the area and wildlife. The canal is a Scheduled Ancient Monument and development on Princes Parade will harm its setting as well as changing the character of the open seafront for ever. We also have concerns about contamination and the engineering challenges deriving from its previous use as a land fill site. The land has long since greened over and we think the safest option would be to leave the waste undisturbed.

We recognise the need for new homes and a new Hythe pool but there are alternative sites for these and we think Princes Parade is such a special site that its loss would not be balanced by the gain of a new leisure centre.

The old tram shelter on Prince's Parade