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Shepway District Council's new parking measures a 'disgrace'

By Sean Axtell

A raft of new parking measures set to be introduced by Shepway District Council (SDC) has been met with a fierce backlash.

The authority this week unveiled proposals to introduce new on-street pay and display spaces in Princes Parade, Hythe and Sandgate Esplanade.

Under the proposals, visitors will pay £1.20 an hour with a cut off point of four hours, meaning they will have to find somewhere else to park, or leave.

Sandgate Esplanade: Courtesy Google Maps
Sandgate Esplanade: Courtesy Google Maps

Tim Prater, Sandgate Parish Council’s deputy chairman, called it a “disgrace” that SDC didn’t flag up the plans with the parish council.

He said: “At the parish council we have been against these type of charges forever.

“We have a visitor economy and would rather people stop and use the beach and businesses rather than just drive past.

“If (SDC) are considering doing that without discussing it with the parish council that is a disgrace.

“This is the first I’ve heard of it. The next thing I’m going to do is contact the other members and let them know, then see how we can involve ourselves in the talks.”

SDC officers, who have recommended for the proposals to go out to public consultation, will present their case before Cabinet members on Wednesday (July 19).

Andy Blaszkowicz, head of commercial and technical services at SDC, wrote in the report: “The demand for parking along the Princes Parade seafront is very high during the summer.

“Parking charges should be introduced to manage the supply.

“It is highly likely that parking will be displaced into Sandgate Esplanade, which will add to the existing pressures.”

The report continues that charges could in the future be introduced on roads off Sandgate High Street.

It says: “A design could be proposed to incorporate the roads off Sandgate High Street within the scheme however consultation would be required with the local residents and traders in this shopping area.”

If the plans progress, residents will be granted annual permits costing to the tune of £30 a year.

The authority hopes to raise £633,945 through the scheme next year, although the parking charges would likely be introduced sooner.

A spokesman for SDC, said: “On Wednesday 19 July Cabinet will be asked to make a decision on whether to proceed with a formal consultation around proposals to introduce parking restrictions to Princes Parade and the Sandgate Esplanade.

"If Cabinet agree to the consultation, it will include local residents, businesses and the local parish council.

"All responses from the consultation, including any objections, will be considered and summarised in a further report. T

"This report will be presented to Scrutiny Committee, and then to the Cabinet Member for her to make a decision about whether to proceed with the proposals.”

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