Holidaymakers are set to descend on the town this weekend as The Whitstable Oyster Company launches its luxury accommodation - controversially built in-part on the Oval Chalet site.
They have proved popular for their inaugural weekend as people continue to flock to the seaside for a getaway.
The Hotel Continental, Fisherman’s Huts and The Boat House - all owned by the company - are fully booked this weekend. As well as seven one-bedroom holiday homes, eight family houses offering two and three bedrooms are also on the plot.
They are part of a complex known as The Warehouse, with the development incorporating the Oval Chalet land and a plot previously occupied by Tile Warehouse.
KentOnline’s sister paper, The Whitstable Gazette, revealed this year the new luxury homes were on the market for a combined total of almost £10 million.
A spokesman for the company said: “We have taken every step and followed all government and PHE advice to ensure that we are Covid-secure, and are delighted that our customers have put their faith in us.
“Where necessary, changes have been made and staff have been trained in the new systems.
“Whitstable is a great place to visit and we are so pleased that we can now offer a range of fantastic places for people to stay safely and comfortably.
“We can’t wait to start welcoming guests to this new accommodation from this Friday.”
The Sea Street development has been at the centre of controversy since 2014. It began with the sale of the Oval Chalet land to Sea Street Developments Ltd.
The site had been used by Whitstable Yacht Club as a dinghy park for more than 50 years - but the lease expired in March 2013 and developers argued it was “unused” and an “eyesore”.
As the name of the complex suggests, the site was also used as a large retail area for the storage and sale of tiles and associated products - but trading ceased in 2016.
Plans for the development - headed by Oyster Company boss James Green - were given the green light by councillors in April 2016.
The Whitstable Society launched a legal bid against the purchase price, which at £165,000 was considered far too cheap for the vacant site.
The sale was regarded by critics as “reprehensible in the extreme”, with an official challenge going before the High Court in February 2017.
The society argued the land opposite Reeves Beach should be kept as public open space, but was unable to overturn the sale.
Judge Mr Justice Dove accepted the best price for the land was not secured by the council, but still ruled the sale could go ahead - a decision the society applied to appeal.
The council said local people were fed up with the lengthy and expensive legal battle against the sale of the Oval Chalet site.