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Beach Street project supporters call for new hotel

By Jack Dyson

A multi-million pound regeneration of a rundown seafront spot should be supported by a new hotel, it has been claimed.

Canterbury City Council has agreed to buy the derelict Tivoli arcade in Central Parade and will develop the site, as well as land to the rear of the building which it is also set to purchase.

The ambitious development will link up with the two council-owned car parks either side of Beach Street, with the entire site hosting as many as 30 new homes and some commercial units.

Land and buildings at the rear of the former Tivoli Amusement Arcade in Central Parade
Land and buildings at the rear of the former Tivoli Amusement Arcade in Central Parade

It is hoped the layout will filter people from the seafront into the town centre and vice versa.

But with no final plans yet drawn up, there have been calls for the authority to support the development with a new hotel.

At a regeneration and property committee meeting last Thursday, Beltinge councillor Jeanette Stockley (Con) said: “The councillors of Herne Bay would like to see a hotel on the seafront; we would like it to be thought about at some stage of the regeneration process.

“It would be wonderful for businesses to come and actually stay in Herne Bay.”

Committee chairman Cllr Ben Fitter-Harding (Con) confirmed a seafront hotel was a “priority” and that there are “potential moves to introduce more overnight accommodation” in the town.

Councillors were considering recommendations made by the assistant director of planning and regeneration for the city council to take responsibility for employing a main contractor for the project.

Cllrs Andrew Cook, Simon Cook and Joe Howes outside the former the former arcade
Cllrs Andrew Cook, Simon Cook and Joe Howes outside the former the former arcade

It was voted through unanimously and heralded by Cllr Fitter-Harding as “an example of the council rolling up its sleeves and getting its hands dirty to achieve a regeneration goal we’ve talked about for a long time” .

Cllr Robert Thomas (Con) described the move as an instance where it has interfered in order to secure a “better social outcome for everyone”.

Councillors agreed to buy the rundown and unoccupied Tivoli arcade in October in order to transform it into an “innovative and thriving quarter”.

Council officers believe the regeneration will also encourage more private investment in other areas of the seafront.

When work is completed, 30% of the homes are expected to be affordable. Tivoli has not been bought by the council yet and planning permission has not been acquired, but the council hopes work will start at the end of summer.

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