Published: 09:30, 29 April 2016
Developers have expressed their delight after councillors gave the nod to plans for Whitstable's Oval Chalet site on Tuesday.
The decision means that the beachfront plot of land opposite Reeves Beach is set for seven holiday homes, eight houses, a community building and an urban square.
The site was controversially sold by Canterbury City Council to the applicant Sea Street Developments for £160,000 in December 2014.
Director James Green said: "We are glad that common sense has prevailed to approve this application to create a development on a site that has been an eyesore for many years, creating employment, open space and an attraction for the town."
The plans have been granted subject to conditions, including unrestricted access to public open space, a provision that the holiday lets should not be used as permanent homes, and that developers will provide £61,000 towards transportation and road surfacing works.
Campaigners suffered another blow earlier that day when a high court judge refused the Whitstable Society permission to continue with a legal fight against Canterbury City Council's decision to sell the land.
But Mr Justice Hickinbottom said the Whitstable Society's evidence that people could walk over or play on the land was “quite insufficient” to make an argument for open land, making the central point of their claim “unarguable”.
The judgment requires the Whitstable Society to pay the council’s costs of preparing its acknowledgement of service.
Graham Cox, of the Whitstable Society, said it is planning to appeal.
Mr Green added: "It is sad that most of the money the council will receive for the land has been spent on legal fees associated with defending their right to sell the land in response to actions brought about by the Whitstable Society - money that could have been spent on more worthwhile community projects."
To view the application click here.