When the original plans for the seafront development in Folkestone were put forward a few years ago, they included leisure and public amenities, including a sea sports centre.
Now the plans have significantly changed and those amenities have been removed from the seafront development, leaving little for local residents and visitors other than blocks of housing. The developers are to pay the council £3.6 million to make up for this significant shortfall to the community.
Jackie Meade, our Labour councillor for Folkestone East, proposed at a meeting of the Town Council planning committee that this money should be ringfenced for use to benefit the townspeople, who are set to lose out in the development of our seafront. This suggestion was backed unanimously by the committee, which also lodged an objection to the seafront scheme as a whole.
Sadly, Shepway District Council are ignoring this call. Rather than put the money into much-needed local amenities and projects, the council is pocketing it to go towards their deficit. The figure of around £5.5million is the estimated increase in borrowing the council expects next year to balance their books, even after a hefty rise in council tax.
The Folkestone Town Council Planning Meeting was held on Thursday 15th February, and was attended by local residents and Labour Party representatives calling for a public meeting with developers.
Reference for SDC deficit: https://shepwayvox.org/2018/02/23/price-tag/