CGI of Folkestone Quayside
CGI of Folkestone Quayside
The much expected redevelopment of Folkestone's seafront is due to start this year.
The plans for more than 1,000 homes and 10,000 sq m for retail use were presented to town councillors and community leaders in Folkestone last week by the developers Folkestone Harbour Company (FHC) last week.
David Crump has been appointed by FHC to lead the planning and delivery of the project, and is experienced in working on regeneration projects such as Wembley Park and Greenwich Peninsula.
The regeneration plans were originally agreed by Shepway District Council in July 2013 and then formally granted in January 2015.
Mr Crump said: "Research indicates that market conditions support the development of Folkestone Seafront at the current time.
"We therefore propose to move forward quickly to help trigger the full range of the socio-economic benefits we expect this project will bring.
"The scale of the development means that it will require significant new infrastructure, and it involves the creation of a high-quality environment, all of which comes at significant cost."
He continued: "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 for Folkestone and its seafront."
The redevelopment project received a £5.1 million grant from the Regional Growth Fund, triggering the start of the work.
However, Mr Crump revealed "lower than average returns" are expected making the plans "less attractive to conventional developers".
But this is being overcome with "significant up-front funding" being provided directly from Sir Roger De Haan, Mr Crump added.
Recent investment in Folkestone includes the area around the Rocksalt restaurant, the fountain square and recently reopened Harbour Arm, all bringing people down to the seafront.
The Harbour Arm restoration includes historic parts of the harbour area being retained such as the listed railway viaduct and swing bridge, while the former harbour station will be retained as a major access route on to the development.
The former railway, which was officially closed by the Department for Transport last year, will create new public access from the northern side of the harbour.
A harbour revision order which would close the port to large commercial shipping has been applied for. This also includes and application for permission to dredge the outer harbour and use the material to raise the level of the land for flood management by between 0.3m to one metre. Additional shingle will be brought into to reinforce the beach making it wider and higher at its most vulnerable points.
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