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Plans emerge for new Roman villa themed adventure park at East Cliff in Folkestone


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Exciting plans to create a new visitor attraction with a Roman Fort themed playground, a cafe with coastal views and adventure golf have emerged.

The project is destined for the East Cliff area in Folkestone, off Wear Bay Road and above The Warren.

Plans have emerged for a new Roman Fort themed adventure play area on East Cliff, Folkestone. Photo: FHDC
Plans have emerged for a new Roman Fort themed adventure play area on East Cliff, Folkestone. Photo: FHDC

Although in the early stages and still subject to approval, details of the first phase of the ambitious development have been released.

The scheme centres around an existing underground Roman Fort on the cliff top.

A new, wooden adventure play zone would be themed on the fort, and raised mounds would give visitors opportunity to walk to higher levels to overlook the coast and the play park.

Visitors would also be able to 'scramble' over some of the 'ruins'.

A cafe and visitor centre would also be created, with a formal dining square offering sheltered seating while a terrace would provide views over the English Channel.

The play area would be suitable for all ages
The play area would be suitable for all ages

There would also be a picnic area and kiosk, as well as new toilets and grass recreation area.

The existing tennis courts would be brought back to life, and adapted to be used all year around.

Enhanced multi use games area and space for adventure golf course are also included within the plans.

A car park with 66 spaces is proposed, with an overflow car park providing a further 28 spots.

A report on the plans states: "The overall aim is to deliver a new destination recreational hub that sits harmoniously within the Area of Natural Beauty and coastal setting by using indigenous planting and a sympathetic material palette.

Visitors would be able to 'scramble' over 'ruins'
Visitors would be able to 'scramble' over 'ruins'
The proposed cafe with sea views
The proposed cafe with sea views

"The play area draws from the Roman Villa site to the north to create an excavated and multi layered ruin themed adventure park for all ages."

The plans have been put together on behalf of the Folkestone Parks and Pleasure Ground Charity (FPPG), which is made up of members of Folkestone and Hythe District Council's (FHDC) cabinet members.

A spokesman for the council said: “The project is in its early days and the only authority that FHDC officers have is to carry out further design, scoping, consultation and costings before going back to the FPPG Trustees for formal approval.”

Funding would need to be acquired for the scheme.

The council is also in the process of creating another 'visitor destination' within Coast Drive car park, in Littlestone, on Romney Marsh.

The proposal from above
The proposal from above
Land off Wear Bay Road is earmarked for the scheme. Photo: Google Map
Land off Wear Bay Road is earmarked for the scheme. Photo: Google Map

The plan is to add more than 100 colourful beach huts, toilet and changing facilities and a cafe and concession stand along the beach to attract more visitors.

It follows a similar project in Folkestone, where new wooden beach huts were added along the promenade. Hundreds of people are now on a waiting list for one of the chalets.

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