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Folkestone seafront development describes plans for a boardwalk

Folkestone Harbour Company (FHC) submitted a planning application this week for an 800m long wooden walkway on the beach. It will join up the Harbour Arm in the east and the Lower Leas Coastal Park to the west.

The walkway will be built up on the shingle starting by the Leas Lift station and ending in the harbour station where the path splits to the upper level of the Harbour Arm and goes down the slope to the former railway track level.

The application notes there are currently no “designated routes” for pedestrians along the beach. It is proposed that the boardwalk will be 2.6m wide and be built out of traditional materials including reclaimed grade A hardwood sleepers.

This has been chosen in order to “reflect Folkestone’s railway heritage and the link to the existing station” which is currently being refurbished.

FHC says it wants to begin building the boardwalk within weeks and has started the preparations.

It is expecting the new route to be open and accessible for people to use in September.

Until then, pedestrians will continue to access the Harbour Arm using the level crossing.

The application documents read: “The proposed boardwalk would not directly conflict with the outline planning consent.

“Delivery of the development on Folkestone seafront site would not be jeopardised by the proposed boardwalk.

“The boardwalk would provide a pedestrian link from east to west linking the Lower Leas Coastal Park with any future development, harbour arm and station.”

The report adds the proposal is going to provide “an attractive and safe pedestrian environment”.

The design and access statement explains the boardwalk is designed to “continue the coastal path along the seafront” and will form part of a “wider pedestrian circuit” taking in the Harbour Arm, Swing Bridge and viaduct.

Outline planning permission was granted for the seafront redevelopment but matters relating to its appearance, layout, and access and landscaping have been reserved.

View the full plans at search planapps.shepway.gov.uk searching refY17/0514/SH. A public consultation closes on May 31.

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