Last night while we had our CLP social (‘Curry for Corbyn’), our Folkestone Town Councillor Jackie Meade continued to fight for the rights of residents.
Controversial Seafront Development
The controversial seafront development yet again went before the Folkestone Town Council (FTC) planning committee. You can read some of the back story here.
The Chairperson Richard Wallace (Conservative) stated that he thought the concessions were good, was happy that the height of building next to the Burstin had been lowered by 15m, the possibility of saving of Harbour Masters House and some Beach Sports being put in (which could amount to as little as some beach volleyball nets).
Section 73 Application Uncertainty
Jackie pointed out rather strongly that the development had put a worst-case scenario forward and were now throwing a few titbits in to appease the electorate. She explained that at the very least, the amendments should be put through on a section 73a because some of the works have already started, and it therefore needs to be resubmitted. Some council members stated “they have the planning permission, we are on a hiding to nowhere”. But Jackie refused to give up.
Shepway GP Crisis
She then ran through the supposed £3.6 million that town council had asked to be ring fenced for amenities for the residents of Folkestone as compensation for losing the Sea Sports Centre. Now it would appear that £1.3 million of this money is to be used to build a GP centre but Jackie argues this should be in addition to Sea Sports compensation.
There also seems to be a possibility that more of this money will be used for other “items” such as the Leas Lift which should of course be paid for by the developers as it is mentioned in the original planning permission and the people who will get most use out of it are the residents on the sea front to get up the hill probably on a daily basis. This is NOT acceptable.
At this point the majority of the committee agreed.
(Not) Affordable Housing
Then Jackie explained that the amount of bedrooms had increased because many of the 1 and 2 bedroom flats from the original plan were now 3 bedroom. This should surely increase the amount of affordable / social housing (in fact it is neither affordable or social it is shared ownership which is completely different – explained here). Folkestone needs social and affordable!
Objection to Folkestone Seafront Development
Jackie also voiced that as Town Council we need to continue to fight and insist on more amenities for residents as they have voted us into office to look after their town. Well, after a bit of a passionate speech, Town council have upheld their objection to the amendments as per the last meeting.
Folkestone and Hythe District Council Meeting
The Chair Richard Wallace will be speaking at Folkestone and Hythe District Council on Tuesday when the Section 73 amendments are put before them again. We sincerely hope he strongly explains what was discussed at the FTC meeting, and explains that as a group of elected officials they are not happy.
Jackie started her discussion with ‘I’ve only just started fighting to make this right for residents and I’m not giving up !” If you have met Jackie, you will know she means it!!
The seafront development could be made into something that is a great boon to residents and business alike but people’s voices need to be heard to create a world class development.
Homes for the many, not wealth for the few.
Contact Your Representatives
Please contact your local representatives to make your feelings known ahead of Tuesday’s meeting. You can find out who to write to here.