Published: 15:00, 21 September 2017
| Updated: 15:00, 21 September 2017
Plans have finally been submitted for a new leisure centre and housing on a Kent seafront.
The long-running saga at Princes Parade in Hythe has reached another step today as Shepway District Council put in a planning application.
The council is applying to itself for permission to build a leisure centre, 150 houses and parkland on a former landfill site.
The development plans have been subject to opposition from locals over fears building would concrete over the open space.
But in a statement released today the council said it believed "one of the most eye-catching features" was the "large amount of open space included".
The plans outline almost half of the site being "retained as public open space".
Shepway council leader, Cllr David Monk, said: "This is a once in a generation opportunity to breathe new life into this former municipal waste tip.
"This ambitious scheme will transform a contaminated and underused site into a fantastic new leisure centre, with beautiful parkland that will enhance the canal for us all to enjoy for generations to come.
"It is a fulfilment of a promise to the people of Hythe to deliver a swimming pool and leisure facilities fit for the 21 century.
"Quality homes to meet local needs, new public parks and better access to the canal and beach are all in the plans."
The plans will now be put out to public consultation with residents asked to comment on the designs.
The council says 45 of the homes will be "affordable units" and will help "address local housing needs" and fund construction of the leisure centre - a 25m pool with six lanes, learner pool, 100 seats, three exercise studios and 100-station gym.
It will replace the crumbling pool in South Road, which has seen more than £500,000 spent repairing it over the past few years.
Also included in the plans is re-routing the existing road from the seafront to create "an enhanced pedestrian and cycle route" and serving as "an additional buffer" from the Royal Military Canal to the building.
The promenade will be doubled in width and the plans for the site are also said to include "opportunities for small-scale commercial uses such as a cafe, restaurant and boutique hotel".
Detailed measures about treating contamination on the site have also been submitted - one of the major concerns raised by opponents who argue it was not suitable for development.
Just this month, the council was forced to admit the insidious plant Japanese Knotweed - capable of destroying tarmac and building foundations - had been found near the development site.
The plans can be seen in full by visiting the council planning portal and searching for application Y17/1042/SH or writing to Planning Department, Shepway District Council, Civic Centre, Castle Hill Avenue,Folkestone, CT20 2QY.
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