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More work starts on Princes Parade development site in Hythe


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Noisy and possibly smelly work has started on land destined to house a divisive seafront development.

The exploratory site investigations along Princes Parade will, says developer Folkestone and Hythe District Council (FHDC), help "provide information about the make-up" of the land along Hythe's coastline, and will "inform the works required to prepare the area".

Land at Princes Parade, Hythe, will be developed by FHDC
Land at Princes Parade, Hythe, will be developed by FHDC

Planning permission has already been granted to build a new leisure centre, 150 homes, a hotel and shops along Princes Parade, but since then the scheme has been subject to many protests and even a court battle to stop it going ahead.

As part of the project, Princes Parade Road will be relocated closer to the Royal Military Canal.

This latest preparatory work will involve sampling across the site at varying levels and depths using a number of different methods: mechanical trial pit excavation, window samples and vertical boreholes using cable percussion.

To minimise disruption, the council says a path will be cleared on the land to create a corridor to provide an access to individual work spaces.

The council previously started works to remove dead trees and dense vegetation from the site. Picture: Mike Blakemore
The council previously started works to remove dead trees and dense vegetation from the site. Picture: Mike Blakemore

The authority also claims the vegetation which will be cleared as part of the works "is likely to grow back relatively quickly in the summer months" and that it will not be removed "unless necessary".

Noise and odour are also likely to be created.

A spokesman for the council said: "As heavy equipment is needed for this type of investigation work, there will be some noise coming from the site - although there should not be any vibrations.

"Due to the nature of the site, there is a risk of the work generating some odour from the deposited materials for short periods during the first week.

"This will be very localised and minimised as much as possible by the teams on the ground."

CGI of what the new leisure centre along the coastal road will look like
CGI of what the new leisure centre along the coastal road will look like

The work is expected to carry on until Monday, May 3 and take place from 8am to 5pm on weekdays.

The authority says ecology support will be provided before clearance work commences, which will include visual checks for nesting birds.

It comes after work started earlier this month to clear trees and vegetation along the northern bank of the Royal Military Canal, which is also in preparation for the proposed development.

But those against the scheme - including members of action group Save Princes Parade (SPP) and some councillors - called the removal of the vegetation 'premature' and feared it was disturbing nesting birds.

As a result, around 50 people ended up gathering near the canal to protest what was happening. Police were eventually called.

A map showing the development plans
A map showing the development plans

In addition, at a planned council question and answer session last night, seven out of 19 questions from members of the public and councillors based on the Princes Parade scheme were put to the authority.

This included queries over the relocating of the road and the removal of trees along the canal.

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