Our aim is to provide information about the land at Prince’s Parade – its history and in particular the current threat to develop it.
Watch our video to understand why we think it’s important to Save Princes Parade:
Shepway District Council are the owners of the land and have commissioned reports looking into the possibility of developing the land. They are considering a new swimming pool, a new Seabrook Primary School, a watersports centre and a coastal park all to be enabled by new housing on the site. There is a link to the original brief to the consultants (GVA) on our documents page. The brief states that the purpose of the project is “to secure a residential allocation for the mixed use redevelopment” of the site which seems to suggest that Shepway have already made the decision to develop.
The site is currently designated for open space and recreation – not housing – and Seabrook School already has planning permission for a new building on the Eversley Road playing fields site. If a new school is built on Prince’s Parade inevitably the existing school site and the playing field will become targets for housing.
At their July 2013 meeting Shepway’s cabinet authorised the officers to continue with the revised project plan for the project. The revised plan now involves looking at all the sites affected by the proposals as well as identifying the necessary funding. Lets hope they see sense before too much more public money is wasted on this. They have still not yet published a financial viability study on the site. We think this is one of the first things they should have looked at.
Following the July 2013 cabinet meeting the officers gave themselves a minimum of 20 weeks to report back to the cabinet. We have not been able to get any further information from them although we believe that they have since commissioned Strategic Leisure to look again at the leisure centre.
We collected 555 signatures on our online petition against development and another 500 or so on paper. Councillor Tillson received this from us in July but the online petition is still open if you would like to sign it.
English Heritage have told Shepway that they are likely to object to development on the site. Read more here.
A separate study by Stategic Leisure looked at three possible sites for the swimming pool – the existing site and Nicholl’s Quarry as well as Prince’s Parade.The Shepway cabinet have already accepted the recommendation that the preferred site for the new Hythe swimming pool should be Prince’s Parade – despite the fact that GVA had not yet concluded that the site was suitable. There was no public consultation regarding the site of the new pool/leisure centre and many local people feel that the new pool should be built on the existing site. We don’t think there has been sufficient explanation of why this is no longer being considered. We think that Strategic leisure have been commissioned to produce another report about the leisure centre but Shepway won’t release it until 7 days before the cabinet meeting on 28th May 2014.
We want local people have enough information to be able to fully participate in the public consultation process and we want to make sure that Shepway District Council takes our views into account. Please contact us so that we can keep you informed about the next consultation events etc
It is vital that we protect this unique piece of land and keep it as open space for the benefit of local people and visitors to the area as well as for the wildlife.
The land at Princes Parade has been dredged, its been quarried, it’s been land filled, it successfully defended us against Napoleon, the Kaiser and Hitler, it protects us and our Ancient Scheduled Monument from the ravages of the sea and provides a unique habitat for wildlife. It has a recorded planning history which makes it undevelopable for residential purposes. Definitely worth fighting for!