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Folkestone seafront development plans not finished yet but less housing proposed than permission given for

By Matt Leclere

Housing at the Folkestone seafront redevelopment will be a quarter less than developers have permission for.

Outline plans for 1,000 homes were granted planning permission in 2013. But Folkestone Harbour Company (FHC) say they will only be building 750 homes.

Speaking exclusively to the Folkestone and Hythe Express, project manager Trevor Minter confirmed the layout and scale of the development had been amended from the masterplan designed by Sir Terry Farrell.

Concept ideas of how Folkestone seafront could look after redevelopment. Folkestone Harbour Company said the designs were likely to be different when they are submitted

Concept ideas of how Folkestone seafront could look after redevelopment. Folkestone Harbour Company said the designs were likely to be different when they are submitted

Detailed designs of the development will not be completed for several months, Mr Minter confirmed, after pictures emerged on social media claiming to show the “finer details”.

The latest images were presented at a public exhibition earlier in September at the Harbour Arm, showing impressions of what might be put forward to council planners when the plans are finalised.

But Mr Minter said they were still “conceptual” and could all change by the time plans are finalised and submitted – which they hope will be the new year.

The scallop shape development can be seen in these plans which have changed since the linear blocks proposed under the masterplan

The scallop shape development can be seen in these plans which have changed since the linear blocks proposed under the masterplan

Various ‘designs’ and impressions have been released about the design for the harbour and seafront redevelopment since plans emerged in 2012.

Mr Minter said: “What people want to know is what’s it going to look like and how much is it going to be.

“But we can’t answer that yet.

“We need more detailed planning and then can present it to people.

One of the scallops which will feature houses. The dip is where the underground car park will sit.

One of the scallops which will feature houses. The dip is where the underground car park will sit.

“We’ve got new architects on board, called Acme. They’ve adjusted the plans within the planning permission we’ve got. They’ve come up with what we call scallops.”

The scallops are the shapes of the development “blocks” or phases which will feature buildings curved around a central communal garden on the top of car parking underground giving “everybody a seaview”.

This layout of the development is now unlikely to change, Mr Minter confirmed.

It is very different from the masterplan which was linear and based on grids and blocks of housing in straight lines.

Mr Minter said: “In the nine years I’ve worked on this, no developer has come forward. The profit margins for it are so small and the cost so great, we’re now doing it ourselves.”

Peter Bettley, spokesman for FHC, added: “The objective is to recover the outlay. If you were motivated by profit you wouldn’t do this – or it would be a totally different plan.

“We’ve been careful how we say this to developers. They have to be sure they can make a return. It’s certainly not Roger’s [De Haan’s] motive.”

 

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