Published: 15:07, 06 November 2019
| Updated: 10:26, 07 November 2019
A multi-million pound scheme to build a state-of-the-art training centre on the Island has been submitted by Sheppey Sea Cadets.
Plans have been lodged with Swale council to demolish existing buildings at Barton's Point Coastal Park, Sheerness, and replace them with twin two-storey blocks which will include sleeping accommodation for 66 cadets.
Vice-chairman Andy Willmore said: "This project has been in the making since 2016.
"Sheppey has become one of the major training centres for sea cadets learning to sail, row, sailboard and kayak in the south east. But our buildings are deteriorating and are difficult and expensive to maintain.
"They do not adequately support the cadets and fall below current standards of welfare and efficiency.
"The proposed building will provide brand new state-of-the-art training, accommodation, adventure and event spaces for our cadets and hopefully for the rest of the community, too.
"This will really put Sheppey on the map."
The scheme, which could cost up to £4 million, will have stone and timber cladding with solar panels and pitched roofs inspired by boat hulls.
One block will include reception, administration, training and catering facilities on the ground with dormitories for 66 cadets above.
The second will feature a boat workshop, garage for coastguard vehicles, teaching spaces, wardroom and a wet-changing area.
The existing concrete barracks-style building on a former military firing range has been used by the cadets since 1954 and can accommodate 40. It is cold and damp.
The new plans are supported by Paul Auston,a deputy lieutenant of Kent.
The cadets have also been in talks with Swale council to share costs of connecting the building and the council's boat house toilets to main drainage in Marine Parade instead of using septic tanks.
The site is part of the Queenborough Lines ancient monument created in the 19th century to defend Sheerness Naval Dockyard from the French. Historic England initially had "concerns" but the height of the buildings have been reduced.
The award-winning cadets meet on Monday and Thursday evenings with band rehearsals on Tuesdays.
To view the application visit Swale council's planning website and search for 19/505216/FULL