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Delight as FHDC Listen to Calls to Revise Beach Chalet Regeneration Scheme

I Beach Huts on Folkestone sea front'm delighted to report that the Folkestone Lower Leas Park Beach Chalets Scheme (which was to see 58 huts removed, 16 retained and renovated and 120 wooden huts installed) has been substantially amended more than DOUBLING the number of existing chalets to be retained.

Following interventions and protests on the orginal scheme by local residents, heritage groups and Councillors (including my moving amendments to the scheme at the most recent full Council meeting) Folkestone and Hythe District Council (and the Trustees of the Folkestone Parks and Please Grounds, who are subtly different) have confirmed the scheme has now been amended to retain chalets 1-27 and the 8 tiered chalets. Those 35 huts / chalets are the ones of most historical interest along that stretch, some dating back around 100 years. The chalets / huts that will still be removed are generally a little less old and with less heritage value.

In a letter to existing tenants dated 3rd December, Folkestone and Hythe District Council say:

"The funding for the proposed works has been approved by full Council and the scheme will now proceed. These works will improve the environment for all visitors to the area with enhanced infrastructure, an increase in the number of chalets and an associated increase in activity in the area.

"Planning and Development Works

  • The Council will submit a planning application for the proposed works.
  • The proposal will include the cliff stabilisation, removal of some of the beach chalets, infrastructure works to steps, walls and re-surfacing.
  • Refurbishment of the chalets to remain in situ, including numbers 1 - 27 and the 8 tiered chalets.
  • The area will also be resurfaced with improvements to access ways.
  • It is anticipated that the works will start during the first quarter of 2020."

I really welcome the revision of the scheme, and thank the officers and trustees that have, perhaps a little belatedly, listened to local opinion on this. I hope the works can be completed with the minimum of disruption of access along the esplanade, and look forward to seeing the refurbished and new huts in place as soon as possible in 2020.