“Public benefits” of the Planning Application

The key argument in the decision as to whether or not to grant planning permission for Princes Parade will be whether the public benefit of the leisure centre (and the other benefits claimed by the council) outweigh the harm to the scheduled ancient monument; the loss of open space; the harm to the visual amenity; the risk of building in a flood risk area etc Of course Hythe needs a new pool but has the case for a leisure centre really been made? Are the council right to have ruled out other sites such as Nickoll’s Quarry? Is there really no other alternative to meet the funding gap other than to build 150 new homes on our precious open space?

Will the affordable housing actually be delivered? Without access to the financial viability calculations how can we be sure? It’s going to be a very expensive site to develop and moving the road won’t be cheap.

And are the other “public benefits” really that great? Will the new promenade be  that much better than the one we have already? Will the “improvements” to the canal really make up for the harm to the setting of the canal or is this just maintenance work that the council should have been doing anyway?