Save our Scheduled Ancient Monument and precious coastal environment

by Save Princes Parade

Save our Scheduled Ancient Monument and precious coastal environment

by Save Princes Parade
Save Princes Parade
Case Owner
Save Princes Parade is a community group challenging the Council’s plans to build a housing estate & leisure centre on land adjacent to the Royal Military Canal, Hythe, a Scheduled Ancient Monument
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Save Princes Parade
Case Owner
Save Princes Parade is a community group challenging the Council’s plans to build a housing estate & leisure centre on land adjacent to the Royal Military Canal, Hythe, a Scheduled Ancient Monument
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Latest: March 24, 2020

Update on today's hearing

The Judicial Review was held today over an audio link between Justice Dove and both barristers. Our solicitors and I (as claimant) could listen in but obviously we were not allowed to say anything. I…

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Who are we?

Save Princes Parade is a community group representing the interests of residents who are challenging Folkestone and Hythe District Council’s plans (for which they have already granted themselves planning permission) to build a housing estate of 150 three and four-storey seafront dwellings, a hotel and a leisure centre  on council-owned land adjacent to the Royal Military Canal, a Scheduled Ancient Monument, at Princes Parade, Hythe, Kent.   

Folkestone and Hythe District Council are the landowner and the developer, but they are also the planning authority and in granting themselves planning permission, they have made a number of technical errors. It is these errors we are seeking Judicial Review to expose.  Save Princes Parade is crowdfunding in order to take this case to Judicial Review. We need your support to enable us to do so. Whatever you can spare will help us save this iconic site.

Princes Parade is of considerable historic and ecological significance and is currently legally protected as Public Open Space.

The tranquil, green strip of land at Princes Parade is both beautiful and unique. It lies between the Royal Military Canal, built as a defensive measure during the Napoleonic wars, and the seafront at Seabrook in Kent.  The Canal with its peaceful and accessible waterside paths combines with the vibrant seafront promenade to provide a variety of low-key leisure activities such as walking and cycling that all can enjoy for free.  Of immense value to the local community, Princes Parade also attracts many visitors from outside the immediate area. Its seafront road and promenade are renowned for their open character and panoramic views of the Hythe hills to the north and the open sea and France (on clear days) to the south. Prior to 1974 the site was used for landfill but has long since greened over and is now a safe habitat for migrating birds, a range of animals, insect and plant life.

The proposal: 

To make way for the beachside development the Council’s proposals involve the removal of all vegetation from the site; the diversion of the existing road away from the seafront to run alongside the Canal and 6 metres above it and the drainage of all surface water from the site into the Canal itself. 

The council’s own consultants admit that the contaminated landfill is NO risk to current users of the site. It is however totally unsuitable for a residential development since it is impossible to remove the contamination and deep piling will be required. By disturbing the land fill there is a risk that asbestos dust could be released which could affect the children in the junior school just a few hundred yards away. This is just one of many risks inherent in developing this fragile site which is far better left undisturbed.  

Our case: 

The council’s  proposals will destroy the tranquillity and beauty of the Canal and its place at the heart of the local community; will undermine the Canal’s status as a Scheduled Ancient Monument; will devastate the site’s ecology and wildlife, and will obliterate the historic seafront views for which Princes Parade has been long renowned. Among those who object to the plans are Historic England, the Environment Agency, CPRE, Kent Wildlife Trust, KCC Archaeology, Hythe Town Council and Sandgate Parish Council.

The council have refused to accept a petition of over 6500 people, ignored 600 plus local planning objections and, more importantly, the Cabinet have overridden a vote made by the Full Council to abandon the scheme.

The council concedes that damage will be done to Princes Parade by this development and to compensate, an ‘amenity area’ and a leisure centre are planned for the site. But problems with drainage (the site is in a flood zone) means that the ‘amenity area’ will now be taken up by a 1¼ acre muddy attenuation drainage pond. There is an ideal alternative location for the leisure centre available to the council for free at Martello Lakes on the other side of Hythe which would better serve the residents of Romney Marsh where there is a real need for a swimming pool.

 

We really believe we can stop this awful development.  Please help us by donating towards the cost of a Judicial Review.

Thank you for helping us to Save Princes Parade!

 

www.saveprincesparade.org   https://www.facebook.com/SavePrincesParade




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Update 7

Save Princes Parade

March 24, 2020

Update on today's hearing

The Judicial Review was held today over an audio link between Justice Dove and both barristers. Our solicitors and I (as claimant) could listen in but obviously we were not allowed to say anything. I thought the hearing went very well, as did our solicitor, but it is now in the hands of the judge.

Justice Dove is now going to consider the case presented and will send his judgement to the barristers.  This could take a few weeks, but I will update you as soon as I have any more information.

Update 6

Save Princes Parade

Feb. 20, 2020

Hot off the press!

We heard yesterday that the Judicial Review date has been set for a one-day hearing on Tuesday 24th March. Our team is now working with the solicitors to put the final touches to our papers that will be delivered to the court by 2nd March. We are pleased to say we remain confident because, as always has been the case, the council’s defence is riddled with flaws. We are, of course, totally dependent on receiving enough donations to overcome our outstanding funding shortfall – so if you can please help with further donations to get us over the line.

We really appreciate your support and will keep you updated with future developments.

Update 5

Save Princes Parade

Dec. 4, 2019

Permission Granted!!

Today, Tuesday 3 December, we have been granted permission to proceed to the substantive hearing of the Judicial Review after challenging the previous decision in the High Court. Our case has been determined by the judge, Mr Justice Supperstone, as being arguable on both of our two grounds. The decision demonstrates the strength of our claim that the planning permission granted by Folkestone and Hythe District Council to themselves was unlawful. We are now confident that when our grounds are argued in greater detail at the Judicial Review itself that will probably take place in March 2020, we should be able to stop this development once and for all.

The devil of this complex case is in the detail. The fact that the council failed to comply with its own flood risk policy was one of the key contributory factors to the decision.

Were FHDC permitted to proceed with this development it would be an environmental catastrophe, as well as being contrary to the decision of Full Council on 26th June 2019 to abandon the planning application and build the Leisure Centre on Martello Lakes.

We all want a replacement for Hythe’s ailing swimming pool and it remains unbelievable that FHDC have failed to recognise that the only sensible option for the new leisure centre is to build it on Martello Lakes. We now possess evidence that the costs for building it there will be much cheaper than previously estimated.

So still a long way to go but for now we can celebrate!

Update 4

Save Princes Parade

Nov. 22, 2019

Permission hearing date

Our permission hearing at the court has been confirmed to be on the 3rd December. We will find out the time of the hearing on the day before. The case will last about one hour.

The campaign’s planning adviser has compiled a comprehensive technical report responding to Justice Lieven’s judgement refusing permission at the desk stage which we have submitted to the solicitor and barrister.  We will be talking to the barrister next week to discuss how our case will be presented at the hearing.

We feel we will be presenting a very compelling case and we remain confident of a positive outcome.

It must be remembered, however, that judges are notoriously fickle and nothing is guaranteed.

I will let you know as soon as possible what the judgement is.

Update 3

Save Princes Parade

Nov. 6, 2019

JR permission hearing - here we come!

We have had a small set back in obtaining permission to go ahead with the JR. The last time I updated you, the papers were submitted to the court and a judge looked at them to determine if  we could progress to the substantive hearing. Unfortunately, the judge has refused this permission.

Yesterday we submitted a request applying for a court permission hearing in front of the judge. We had anticipated having to go to a permission hearing, we had hoped it would not be necessary because the arguments are so clearly in our favour.

We will keep you updated with future developments.

Update 2

Save Princes Parade

Oct. 9, 2019

Over to you Your Honor!

Just to let you know that all the papers are now in front of the judge and we should soon hear whether we have got permission to go on to a full hearing.  We are very confident that permission will be granted so watch this space!

Full hearings are very expensive so we need to raise as much money as possible, if you haven’t done so already, please donate to our case.

Please also share our CrowdJustice web page https://www.crowdjustice.com/case/saveprincesparade/ on Facebook, Twitter etc.

Update 1

Save Princes Parade

Sept. 11, 2019

JR Grounds published

I am updating you on the progress so far with our judicial review claim against Folkestone and Hythe District Council. 

Firstly, thank you to everyone who has donated to our fundraising so far, it is very much appreciated.

In a judicial review you cannot question the decision that the Council have made in granting the planning permission on Princes Parade, but you can question the legality of the Council’s processes. We have put a copy of our claim document on the Save Princes Parade website and you can view it using this link:

http://saveprincesparade.org/news/judicial-review-2/

We are challenging FHDC on two grounds:

  • The Officers Report significantly misled the planning committee that the application breached both the Core Strategy Local Plan and TM8 and LR9 of the Shepway Local Plan.
  • The Officers Report significantly misled the Planning Committee by failing to apply policies in the National Planning Policy Framework in relation to “areas at risk of flooding”.

Our claims document goes in front of a judge so he can assess the case. The judge will give his permission to go forward to a substantive hearing if he thinks we have grounds for a successful challenge.

Substantive hearings are very expensive so we need to raise as much money as possible so, if you haven’t done so already, please donate to our case.

Please also share our CrowdJustice web page https://www.crowdjustice.com/case/saveprincesparade/ on Facebook, Twitter etc.

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