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It's Time for Councillors to Vote to Save Princes Parade

June 6, 2019 2:56 PM
Green Council candidates 2019 John Wing, Doug Wade, Georgina Treloar and Lesley Whybrow and Lib dem candidates Tim Prater and Gary Fuller

Lib Dem and Green Councillors pledged to fight for Princes Parade

Folkestone and Hythe Lib Dem Leader Tim Prater and Green Party Leader Lesley Whybrow have put down a motion to the 26th June District Council meeting calling on the Council to withdraw its own proposals to develop Princes Parade, and instead build a new leisure centre and swimming pool at Martello Lakes in West Hythe.

Tim Prater said:

"In May, the voters of Hythe and Sandgate made their view clear. They swept every single Conservative Councillor off the District Council, and elected Green and Lib Dem Councillors who opposed the development of Princes Parade instead.

"26th June is the first Full Council meeting that we could put down our own motion. This motion, which has been accepted and will be debated, is to end the proposal to develop Princes Parade. We're delivering on our commitment to the local residents that backed us.

"Development of Princes Parade is bad for our environment.

"It's bad for our heritage and Royal Military Canal.

"And it's potentially hugely bad for our finances: it's a really risky project.

"There is a site for a brand new leisure centre and swimming pool agreed at Martello Lakes in West Hythe. That was a done deal years ago. We should get on and use it.

"We know we have support for our motion from across the chamber. Alongside the Green Party and Lib Dems the Labour group have offered their support, and a number of other Councillors have spoken out against Princes Parade development. Now is their time to have their say. We can win this vote.

"Voting for our motion doesn't change the Leader of the Council. It doesn't change the direction of the Council. But it does save Princes Parade. We appeal to all Councillors to support it."

The motion tabled for the 26th June meeting

This Council notes:

1. The hostility of local people to the proposals to develop Princes Parade, as evidenced by the local election results;

2. The damage it will do to the environment and the setting of the scheduled ancient monument that is the Royal Military Canal;

3. The financial risk this Council faces by pursuing this highly risky £29 million+ project;

4. The clear ongoing need for a new swimming pool and leisure centre in the district, and that a location for that at Martello Lakes would better support Hythe and Romney Marsh, than one nearer the Folkestone Sports centre.

This Council resolves to withdraw its planning application Y17/1042/SH for Princes Parade, and cease immediately any ongoing plans to develop that area for anything other than outdoors recreation.

This Council further resolves to immediately take up the option for a Leisure Centre site at Martello Lakes and will bring forward plans no later than November 2019 to open a new swimming pool and leisure centre there, whilst also seeking indicative funding support from partners for that site.