Brief History

The land at Prince’s Parade was originally owned by The Southern Railway Company.

In the 1930’s the then Hythe Council had grand plans for the area and bought the land with a loan from the Ecclesiatical Commissioners. One of the conditions of the loan was that the land be used for public recreation.

Unfortunately the war got in the way of these plans and the site was later used as a landfill site. According to local legend it was also used to store ammunition during the war.

The loan was paid off in 1968 and the land transferred to Shepway in 1974.

Since then, there have been various attempts to develop the site including to use it as a caravan park, to develop it as a marina and in 2003 for high rise housing.

These last plans were stopped after many local people objected and the Government Planning Inspector said that “it is one of the finest vistas in the district”. She agreed with the previous Inspector that “residential development would be out of character with the site’s open nature” and said “this part of Seabrook is deficient in every sort of public open space.” She concluded “I find this one of the rare occasions when the need to preserve the open character of a site, and its relationship to both the sea and the canal, is so important that it outweighs the imperatives of PPG3”

Recently an attempt was made to register the land as a village green but unfortunately this failed because Shepway had fenced off the land in 2003 when they were dredging the canal and this was deemed to have interrupted the 20 year public access required to register a village green.

There are some very interesting articles about the tram service that used to run along the seafront here:

Disused Stations – Hythe and Sandgate Tramway

Folkestone, Hythe and Sandgate Tramways
A Four Mile Ride by the Sea

When the tram shelter became a bus shelter for a movie

For some useful and interesting information on  heritage and art in the Shepway district visit Shepway Heart Forum.