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Plan to transform former gasworks in Ship Street, Folkestone, benefits from £2.5 million government boost

Plans to transform a former gasworks site into a housing estate have been given a major boost after being granted £2.5 million in funding.

The cash will go towards the construction of 150 new homes on the disused land in Ship Street, Folkestone.

An artist’s drawing of how the site in Ship Street might look in the future. Picture: FHDC
An artist’s drawing of how the site in Ship Street might look in the future. Picture: FHDC

The proposals from Folkestone and Hythe District Council (FHDC), who own the plot, were given the green light in September last year.

The scheme includes a mix of energy-efficient homes with courtyard gardens, commercial space and public creative and cultural space.

Located between Foord Road and Bournemout Road, the site has been derelict for nearly seven decades.

The gasworks were owned by the Folkestone Gas Company, founded in 1842 by Ralph Thomas Brockman.

The operation moved to the land in Ship Street in 1888, ceased functioning in 1956, and demolition was carried out in phases between 1960 and 2001.

The land was last used in the 1950s
The land was last used in the 1950s

FHDC purchased the land in 2021, and set out their ambition to turn it into needed housing.

Arup and Fletcher Priest architects were appointed to "assist the masterplan design work" in January this year.

The £2.5 million boost for the project will come from central government.

Leader of FHDC, Cllr Jim Martin (Green) said: “We are delighted the government has shown its support for our innovative project to create quality housing to address local needs in this important location.

“To receive such significant backing is testament to the commitment we’ve shown in bringing this site forward for development in such a key location, despite its many challenges.”

Homes are planned for the former gasworks in Folkestone
Homes are planned for the former gasworks in Folkestone
FHDC leader, Cllr Jim Martin (Green)
FHDC leader, Cllr Jim Martin (Green)

Minister for Housing and Planning, Rachel Maclean MP said:We are doing all we can to make sure we’re making use of wasteland and unused brownfield land, so we can turn these eyesores into beautiful and thriving communities.

“This is all part of our long-term plan for housing – making sure we deliver the homes we need across the country.”

A number of public engagement events focusing on its future have been held in recent years. Work, including the exploration of different delivery options, is ongoing and a planning application is due to be submitted in the autumn.

New public spaces including a green link between Folkestone Central railway station and Folkestone Harbour, as well as a small (pocket) park on Foord Road for the community to enjoy, will also be included in the plans.

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