Princes Parade

Prince's Parade across the Royal Military Canal

Shepway 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 to their own council. This was done in September 2017 and the planning application is now due to go in front of the planning committee on Thursday 16th August at 7pm (with a protest outside the district council offices from 6.15pm – see events). 609 members of the public objected to the plans with 175 supporting – those supporting mainly being in favour of the proposed new leisure centre. Significantly Historic England have objected because of the harm that the development will cause the royal Military Canal which is a scheduled ancient monument.

 

Apart from our desire to protect this green, open space Shepway Green Party shares the concerns expressed by the Save Princes Parade campaign regarding the financial viability of the scheme. The district council has refused to publish the full financial viability calculations – only releasing a very heavily redacted version into the public domain.

 

Princes Parade has been allocated as a development site in the draft local plan. There was a final public consultation on this in early 2018. The draft plan was then submitted to the Planning Inspectorate, with the examination in public due to be in the summer of 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.

In May 2018 there was another public consultation, this time about the stopping up of the road so that it can be diverted behind the new houses and along the canal. We congratulate our Hythe Town Councillor, Ashley Tanton, for persuading his fellow councillors to object to this.

Lots more information on www.saveprincesparade.org.

The old tram shelter on Prince's Parade

 



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