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Betteshanger Sustainable Parks development submits first planning application

By Emily Stott

Plans have been submitted for a new visitor centre at Fowlmead Country Park, as part of the wider Betteshanger Colliery development.

The application by Hadlow College would see the current visitor centre replaced with a museum, teaching unit and energy centre.

This comes after plans for the Betteshanger Sustainable Parks scheme was announced last year.

Designs for the Betteshanger Colliery project put forward by Hadlow College

The £100 million scheme is set to transform the former colliery site into a green technologies business park, a research and education centre, and an eco-visitor centre which it is hoped will attract 100,000 tourists each year.

Leader of the project, Mark Lumsdon-Taylor said: “We are delighted that the planning application has been submitted for the visitor centre at Fowlmead.

“The centre will make a very important contribution in terms of the local communities and visitors.

"This is the first part of the Betteshanger Sustainable Parks project and we all eagerly await the results.”

The visitor centre is the first step and will include a main reception, a restaurant and cafe, conference area, cycle hire and biomass energy centre which is hoped will power the park.

Land is already used for a temporary visitor centre with picnic area and children’s space, which was granted permission in 2006.

For full information visit the website at www.dover.gov.uk/planning and search reference number DOV 14/00262.

For the full story read this week's East Kent Mercury.

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