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Hythe's Princes Parade development is given the green light

Campaigners against Hythe's Princes Parade development are in the process of launching a judicial review after the controversial scheme was granted planning permission.

The plans, which will see 150 homes, a hotel and a new leisure centre built along green space that runs parallel to the Royal Military Canal, were approved this month.

It comes after Folkestone and Hythe District Council (FHDC), which is behind the project, gave outline planning permission in August last year.

Artist's impression of the Princes Parade development in Hythe
Artist's impression of the Princes Parade development in Hythe

But following the removal of an objection from the Environment Agency, the scheme was given the green light by planning officers.

The move has caused upset among the members of the Save Prince's Parade (SPP) group, which has long claimed the project is ecologically risky, harmful to wildlife and not financially viable.

Instead, it has lobbied for the land around Martello Lake to be used as an alternative site.

The group says it has now instructed a solicitor to set the first phase of a judicial review in motion - a process under which executive or legislative actions are subject to review by the judiciary.

A statement from SPP, posted to its members on Facebook on the day the scheme was approved, said: "I hate to be the bearer of bad news but planning consent was granted for the Princes Parade development.

"From our earlier posts it was becoming increasingly clear that they intended to proceed regardless of the strength of opposition and ignore all representations raised in response to theconsultation.

Protestors want to preserve the land along Princes Parade
Protestors want to preserve the land along Princes Parade

"We have now instructed our solicitor to proceed with the first phase of judicial review."

The development includes plans for 150 new homes, a hotel, shops, green spaces, a children's play area and a leisure centre with a swimming pool.

Last month, campaigners were left dismayed after they were told a vote to scrap the seafront scheme was not 'legally binding' after a motion was tabled at a district council meeting.

Despite a 15/14 vote to withdraw the plans, those opposed were told the decision "would not be binding on the executive".

Members of SPP are now fundraising to pay for the judicial review.

A spokesman for FHDC said: "A member resolution to approve the Princes Parade planning application was made in August 2018 subject to the Environment Agency removing its objection.

"The Environment Agency has removed its objection and planning permission was granted on July 18."

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