The Timeline


24th August: The Planning and Licensing Committee approved applications for an artificial badger sett and for a range of proposals in relation to conditions 15 – Preliminary Ecological Appraisal (Site Clearance Stage only), 16 – Ecological Method Statement (Phase 1 only) and 17 – Habitat Creation Plan (Phase 1 only)” of the main Princes Parade planning application.

18th August: A 38 Degrees Petition succeeded in persuading the Department for Transport to launch a Public Inquiry into the stopping up  of Princes Parade. The petition was launched by Kent county councillors Rory Love and Andrew Weatherhead. The Date was set for 19 October 2021

15th August: A demonstration against the development of Princes Parade was held which was spectacularly successful with 1000 people taking part and getting much media attention.

24th March: Ground investigations began on the development site, involving excavation and drilling.

March: Work started on the removal of trees and bushes along the north bank of the canal with the intention of turning much of the area into a grassland habitat for reptiles to be translocated from the leisure centre development site.

24th February: At F&HDC’s Full Council Meeting on 24th February we were disappointed, but not surprised, when Cllr Tim Prater’s amendments to both the corporate plan and the budget failed.

Cllr Prater’s proposed amendments were:

  1. To remove the words ‘at Princes Parade’ from the corporate plan
  2. To remove the budget funding for the project.

The vote was 16 against the amendments and 13 for. All of the Conservatives, UKIP and Independents united to vote down the amendment, as they had done last year.

We would like to thank Councillors Prater, Meade, Keen, Fuller, Treloar, Whybrow, Martin, Wing, Wade, Shoob, Davison, McConville, Keutenius for their continued support.

23rd February: F&HDC announced they had appointed BAM Construction to deliver the new leisure centre on Princes Parade. The first stage is a pre-contract services agreement to carry out surveys, design, investigations and coordination of services at a fixed price of £2.5m.


3rd December: Refused permission to appeal Judicial Review decision

16th September: PPLP adopted by the Council

July: Report on PPLP published, the independent inspector found the policy sound

22nd June: Notified our Judicial Review was unsuccessful, requested permission to appeal decision

24th March: High Court hearing of Judicial Review presided over by Mr Justice Dove, because of Covid-19 lockdown this was held as a telephone conference.


3rd December: Won the substantive hearing to proceed to a full Judicial Review hearing.

October: Initial Permission for Judicial Review hearing was rejected. Request to go for a substantive hearing in The High Courts for Justice accepted.

September: SPP’s Grounds for Judicial Review proceedings submitted to Court.

August: Pre-Action Protocol letter sent to Folkestone and Hythe District Council; as expected this was rejected and we prepared to go forward to full Judicial Review proceedings.

19th July: Solicitors representing the SPP campaign instructed to start the Judicial Review process challenging the legality of the planning application.

18th July: Formal consent of planning permission for the Princes Parade development was granted

26th June: Full council meeting voted to withdraw the planning permission for Princes Parade

9th May: New District Councillors elected, 13 of whom opposed the development of Princes Parade.

May: PPLP public examination hearing held

13th February: Redacted Cabinet Meeting reports published.

17th January: The EA reluctantly withdrew their objection to the development say the plan was ‘just about viable’.


16th August: Planning permission was approved by the planning committee subject to the Environment Agency withdrawing the objection to the surface water being drained into the canal. The vote was; 5 for; 4 against and one abstention.


October: Save Princes Parade constituted as a formal group with the purpose of objecting to F&HDC planning application for Princes Parade.
September 2017 – A hybrid planning application was submitted


Early 2016: Hythe Town council  agreed to make part of The Green available to Shepway for the new leisure centre

24 February: at the full Shepway council meeting Councillor Monk confirms the leisure centre would be built on Princes Parade after all, ignoring the contamination, harm to the Canal and other known and unknown problems of developing the site.

6 April: report presented to the Resource Scrutiny Committee. This report was not made public and the public were  excluded from the meeting.

13th April: Shepway attempted to do the same for the cabinet meeting. The public were allowed into the meeting at the last minute. Cabinet were presented with a land use report and members unanimously voted to allow officers report as a basis for a planning application.


Early 2015: Shepway held a public consultation as part of the Local Plan process. 80% of those who responded to the Princes Parade question were against development on the site.

July: Shepway officers attended a Hythe Town Council meeting with proposals to put a new pool and housing either on the existing site and/or on the South Road recreation ground.
Hythe Town Council suggested they also look at The Green for the new leisure centre.

28th October: Shepway’s resource Scrutiny Committee recommended that Cabinet reconsider Nickoll’s Quarry as the preferred site but cabinet ignored that recommendation.

4th November: Cabinet were presented with a new report which:

  • said the new primary school was not financially viable
  • included a comparison of the 5 possible sites for the leisure centre including. Concluded The Green should be the preferred site with Princes Parade second preference.
  • said that remedial measures would be needed to deal with the contamination, to be capped but not removed.
  • included land value assessments for the various sites.
  • recommended submitting outline planning applications for The Green (subject to HTC approval) and Princes Parade.

The report failed to mention the previously agreed covenant on the open space on PP but confirmed that the relevant resolution still stands.


May 2014: Cabinet considered further reports from Strategic leisure (who now recommended a cheaper model for the leisure centre) and “high level” financial assessments provided by GVA.

Summer 2014: Shepway commissioned a heritage study from Lee Evans. Historic England have serious concerns about the effect on the setting of the Royal Military Canal.


July: Cabinet authorised officers to identify the sources of funding


In 2012: Shepway DC (now F&HDC) commissioned 2 sets of consultants’ reports:

  • Strategic Leisure to look at preferred sites for the leisure centre (NQ, Princes Parade and the existing site) and one from
  • GVA to look at mixed use redevelopment of Princes Parade.