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Whitstable Oyster Company boss appeals decision to reject shops and flats plan for Beach Walk

Residents have been left horrified after a fresh bid was launched for a development of shops and flats previously branded a “bulky, unsympathetically designed blob”.

City councillors snubbed the “visually overbearing” scheme for Whitstable in March - against the advice of planning officers - after 25 objections were lodged against the plans.

CGI of the Beach Walk development plans. Picture: APX Architecture
CGI of the Beach Walk development plans. Picture: APX Architecture

But now Sea Street Developments, headed by Oyster Company boss James Green, has appealed to the planning inspectorate over the decision.

The proposals are for a four-storey complex, consisting of two shops and seven apartments, at the corner of Tower Parade and Beach Walk.

Members of the city council’s planning committee said it is at odds with the character of the area because of its size and the use of materials, and would not preserve the neighbouring conservation area.

Sea Street Developments hoped to build on the Hotel Continental’s overspill car park, known as the Arcade Site - insisting the project would “enhance an important area”.

A total of eight jobs will be created at ground floor retail units if the scheme - next door to the MFA bowling alley - is given the green light by the planning inspectorate.

The site based in Beach Walk. Picture: Google Street View
The site based in Beach Walk. Picture: Google Street View

The plans were ill-received by residents, who raised concerns over pollution and parking, and fears of views being “obliterated”.

The Whitstable Society argued the proposals would eliminate the Tower Parade building line, the retail units may be left empty and there would be a loss of parking.

A spokesperson for Sea Street Developments said the plans were refused on two grounds despite being recommended for approval by the council’s planning department.

The first was that the plans were “visually overbearing and unacceptably dominant within the street scene”.

The second being the failure to secure the delivery of the mitigation measures for the coastal protection areas.

“An appeal has been lodged against the decision which responds in detail to the first reason for refusal and a legal agreement has been completed to deal with the second ground for refusal as was always intended,” they said.

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