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Cain's Amusements owners could build £1.5m homes on eyesore Herne Bay site


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Developers believe two new luxury seafront houses equipped with cinemas, gyms and “iPads in walls” will be the first of their kind in Herne Bay.

The Cains, a family of arcade owners, are considering whether to go ahead with the plans for the Western Esplanade properties, which are expected to fetch about £1.5 million each, or sell the site.

A CGI showing how the development in Western Esplanade, Herne Bay, could look
A CGI showing how the development in Western Esplanade, Herne Bay, could look
A CGI showing how the development could look
A CGI showing how the development could look

The plot, which used to be home to a rundown bungalow, has been advertised by town estate agency Wilbee and Son for the last 12 months.

In the absence of a lucrative enough offer, Tom Cain says his family may be tempted to build the properties themselves and run one as an upmarket Airbnb, with the other being a home.

“They’re going to look incredibly modern,” he said.

“Along the road, there’s quite a few houses that are perhaps slightly dated, and these two will bring the whole street up, as well as the whole area.

“Wilbee and Son get phone calls every week asking about the land. No one came forward with a good enough offer, but everything’s for sale at the right price.

The site in Western Esplanade, Herne Bay, is being marketed by Wilbee and Son for £1.5 million. Picture: Wilbee and Son
The site in Western Esplanade, Herne Bay, is being marketed by Wilbee and Son for £1.5 million. Picture: Wilbee and Son
The site in Western Esplanade, Herne Bay, is being marketed by Wilbee and Son for £1.5 million. Picture: Wilbee and Son
The site in Western Esplanade, Herne Bay, is being marketed by Wilbee and Son for £1.5 million. Picture: Wilbee and Son

“At the start of next year – in spring time – we’ll think about whether we’ll start it and when we’ll do it, or if we’ll sell it.”

The multi-million pound project was given the green light by Canterbury City Council two years ago, despite fears the scheme was too large and out of character with the rest of the area.

Planning papers show the three-storey houses, which will be opposite the beach at Hampton, will each be equipped with a double garage, study, cinema room and gym.

And Mr Cain expects the buildings to be ranked among the town’s most expensive once they are erected.

“Once they’re built, I think they’ll be worth between £1.3m and £1.5m each,” he added.

'We’ve had this overspill from London, and anything down the coast from Whitstable right the way down to Thanet is extremely popular.'

“They will have electric blinds, iPads in the walls, underfloor heating right the way through, aircon – it’ll be very high-tech right the way through.

“It’s going to be incredible. The project will be one of a kind for Herne Bay.”

Advertising material for the site describes the plot as one of the last of its kind “directly opposite the sea” in the Bay.

And Wilbee and Son manager Peter Goodwin believes there will be “no problem” securing deals of more than £1m for each of the new-builds.

“We’ve had this overspill from London, and anything down the coast from Whitstable right the way down to Thanet is extremely popular,” the estate agent explained.

“Now properties are touching the £1m mark, and we’ve never seen this in Herne Bay before.

“We’ve had two offers of £1m for the plot. There’s nothing like it in the town unless you demolish something.”

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