After Outline Planning Permission was granted in early 2015, the wait for work to start on the Seafront redevelopment and regeneration is over.
The Harbour Company will begin phase one of the master plan this year after research has indicated that market conditions support the development. New work will include a new public access to the area across the disused railway viaduct, swing bridge and through the former Folkestone Harbour Station. Key historic buildings and railway infrastructure are going to be restored so that the character of the site is kept.
The Masterplan that was envisaged by Sir Terry Farrell and Partners plans to reconnect the seafront with the town. It includes high quality open spaces, sea sports and beach sports centres, new public squares and bars and shops. The whole development is expected to be phased over 11 years.
The beach will also become wider as additional shingle will be used to build it up to the risk of flooding, also allowing the beach to have a larger dry area for public use. Site investigations will also be looking at dredging the outer harbour which will improve access for fishing and leisure boats.
David Crump, who was the former Operational Director at Quintain Estates and Development plc, said there would be a significant cost: ““The scale of the development means that it will require significant new infrastructure and it involves the creation of a high-quality environment. The award of the recently-announced grant of £5.1 million from the Regional Growth Fund has helped to trigger the start of the work”. He added that significant up-front funding is being provided by Sir Roger De Haan.
He also said that the public will notice work starting soon: “During the coming months, there will be considerable activity on the site, and we shall see significant steps towards the delivery of this major new development.”