Published: 13:33, 26 May 2020
| Updated: 13:48, 26 May 2020
An ambitious planning application seeking permission for an eye-catching community hall and more than 30 new homes on Romney Marsh is finally set to go before the council.
The project, which has been in the making for several years, would see the recreation ground off Station Road, in New Romney, transformed with a new two-storey sports pavilion, a car park, new playing pitches and 34 houses.
The proposed sports hall would replace outdated Maude Pavilion following its demolition, and would include changing rooms, a medical room, storage, a function room, meeting rooms, a bar and kitchen and a large balcony with views over the playing fields - which are set to be improved.
The pitches would be used for football in winter and cricket in the summer.
The new homes, to the south of the site, would be a mix of 15 two bedroom, 10 three bedroom and nine four bedroom houses.
The existing Seashells Nursery building would also be refurbished and would get new timber cladding.
The designs have been put together by award-winning architect team Guy Hollaway, who are also behind Folkestone's Rocksalt restaurant and unique urban skate park, F51, which is currently under construction.
New Romney Town Council is behind the project and says the creation of the homes would help pay for the new community hall.
Planning documents state: "The existing sports pavilion is considered to be very small, ageing and dilapidated requiring substantial investment to keep the building in a safe and watertight condition.
"The existing facility is considered to be a deterrent to new recreational users and does not serve as a positive statement that New Romney believes in the value of recreational activity and sporting ambition.
"The town council has recognised that a new community hall and sports pavilion would be of benefit to local residents."
The scheme has not been without criticism; 66 neighbours were consulted on the plans and three letters of objection were received.
Concerns include loss of playing fields, lack of affordable housing - none is proposed - and insufficient travel, medical and educational infrastructure.
The plans will be discussed by Folkestone and Hythe District Council's planning committee tonight at 7pm, via a virtual Zoom meeting.
A report released ahead of the meeting recommends the scheme for approval.
Also due to be discussed is a hybrid planning application to develop Coast Drive car park in Greatstone with 20 new homes and a public car park proposed.