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Artists impression of new development at Estuary View, Whitstable

Artists impression of new development at Estuary View, Whitstable

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Development plans approved for Estuary View Business Park in Whitstable

Artists impression of new development at Estuary View, Whitstable

Artists impression of new development at Estuary View, Whitstable

Councillors have approved plans for a large development of Estuary View Business Park which will include a new hospital, nursing home and retail stores including an Aldi supermarket and a Marks & Spencer store.

The approval means that developer George Wilson can now go ahead with building on the site off the Thanet Way.

It is hoped that the new development will create around 300 new jobs – half of which will staff the new medical facilities and the other half will be full and part-time jobs in the retail stores.

Harbour Garage, the Kia car dealership currently based next to Whitstable Harbour is also set to move to the new site.

Mr Wilson told the meeting: "I would like to speak in support of the officer's recommendation.

"As someone said to me this morning, this is one of the most exciting schemes the Wilsons have ever brought to the council and we have been doing that for 35 years.

"The retail development will have two occupiers and the second will be Marks and Spencer.

"I am particularly pleased that the proposal will allow the relocation of the existing car dealership from Whitstable Harbour.

"As everyone will be aware, the original planning permission for the site was for offices. While it was possible in the past, there is no demand in Whitstable for offices now.

"Why would we want to build more offices on a site to have them empty?"

The Canterbury City Council's planning committee voted in favour of the proposal at a meeting with only two out of 12 councillors objecting to it.

There had previously been concerns raised by the Whitstable Chamber of Commerce that the development would take trade away from the town centre. However in a report published before the meeting, city council planning officer Ben Young cited "that the impact of the proposals would not have a significant adverse impact upon Whitstable or Herne Bay town centres".

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