Home   Hythe   News   Article

Amendment to prevent Hythe's Princes Parade development going ahead is rejected


More news, no ads

LEARN MORE

Further attempts to halt the Princes Parade development in Hythe have failed.

The project - to create a swimming pool, 150 homes, shops and a hotel on land along the coastal road - was approved in 2019 and work is set to begin on the site next month.

Artist's impression of the proposed leisure centre at the Princes Parade development in Hythe
Artist's impression of the proposed leisure centre at the Princes Parade development in Hythe

As part of the proposal, Princes Parade road will be re-located closer to the Royal Military Canal.

Over the years, those against the scheme, including members of the Save Princes Parade (SPP) action group, have fought hard to stop it going ahead.

That battle came to a head at the end of last year when SPP lost their appeal at Judicial Review, having previously called the scheme ‘unlawful’.

Folkestone and Hythe District Council (FHDC) is behind the development.

But at the authority's cabinet and full council meetings, both held last Wednesday, some members made attempts to prevent the scheme once again.

Land between the Royal Military Canal and the seafront, the site of proposed development. Picture: Chris Davey
Land between the Royal Military Canal and the seafront, the site of proposed development. Picture: Chris Davey

This includes a request from Cllr Tim Prater (LibDem) to remove nearly £29m from the General Fund Medium Term Capital Programme, which would take away the means to build the scheme.

Cllr Prater's amendment proposed that "the Princes Parade future allocated budget of £28.358m be deleted and that a future capital programme considers the required budget for a leisure centre on an alternative site, probably at Martello Lakes"

He said: "We support the development of new leisure facilities for Hythe. We support the replacement of Hythe pool. Just not at Princes Parade."

Cllr Prater said the scheme will damage the environment, harm scheduled ancient monuments the Royal Military Canal, and threaten wildlife and ecology.

He added: "If we've learned anything in the last year, it should be that we should be valuing the areas of open space that we have have in our community. Sometimes you can't drive somewhere to have a walk.

Cllr Tim Prater
Cllr Tim Prater

"If we've learned anything else in the last year, it should be that there is significant risk in anything, and that things change."
The amendment sparked a debate among councillors about whether the Princes Parade scheme is wanted by the people of Hythe, and whether the land - a former waste site - it suitable to be devolved.

But in the end the amendment was lost by 13 votes in support and 16 against.

Cllr Prater had made a similar request at a meeting last year, which was also lost.

The General Fund Medium Term Capital Programme was then voted through with 16 in favour and 13 against.

During both council and cabinet meetings, Cllr Prater also proposed an amendment to the Corporate Plan, asking for three words to be removed.

District councillors John Wing, Doug Wade, Georgina Treloar, Lesley Whybrow, Tim Prater and Gary Fuller on Princes Parade. Picture: Tim Prater
District councillors John Wing, Doug Wade, Georgina Treloar, Lesley Whybrow, Tim Prater and Gary Fuller on Princes Parade. Picture: Tim Prater

The Corporate Plan, titled Creating Tomorrow Together, outlines FHDC's plans for the next 10 years, including Otterpool Park, invigorating the High Streets and improving infrastructure.

Cllr Prater's objection came to the line: "We will invest in leisure facilities, including the development of a new leisure centre for the district located at Princes Parade in Hythe."

Cllr Prater's amendment wanted the words "at Princes Parade" removed from the Corporate Plan, he argued, so that all councillors across all parties could approve it.

A vote on his amendment was lost at both meetings.

Cllr Laura Davison (Labour) and Cllr Georgina Treloar (Green) also said they could not support the Corporate Plan, due to its focus on Otterpool Park and in it not going far enough on focusing on protecting the environment.

Aerial sketch view of how the Princes Parade development could look
Aerial sketch view of how the Princes Parade development could look

Other councillors however said they were shocked that members were not in support, as the document was a cross party effort.

In the end, the Corporate Plan was approved with a vote of 16 in favour and 13 against.

At the full council meeting, the budget and council tax level for the year ahead were also set out.

Councillors - 24 in favour and five against - agreed to a 1.99% rise in council tax for 2021/22.

This means that the average annual district council element of the council tax at band D will increase by £5.34 to £273.72, which is an increase of 10p a week.

150 homes and a hotel are also proposed for the land. Picture: Chris Davey
150 homes and a hotel are also proposed for the land. Picture: Chris Davey

The final bill that people receive will also show the costs of services for Kent County Council, the Kent Police and Crime Commissioner, Kent and Medway Fire and Rescue Authority, and for town and parish councils.

The budget includes continued financial support of the three community hubs of £80,000, which have provided essential help for those isolating during the Covid-19 pandemic.

A 33-point plan to continue the council's journey to reduce its carbon emissions to zero by 2030 was also given the go-ahead.

The range of actions, some of which can be tackled quickly and others which will take longer to implement, focus on six key areas - energy, behaviour change, transport, water, contracts and biodiversity/green space.

The plan, drawn up by the council’s Climate and Ecological Emergency Working Group following work with experts, received unanimous support at the authority's cabinet meeting.

Read more: All the latest news from Hythe

Close This site uses cookies. By continuing to browse the site you are agreeing to our use of cookies.Learn More