History and timeline for Princes Parade
Folkestone & Hythe District Council has long-held ambitions to replace its popular, but old and failing, swimming pool in Hythe.
These ambitions were boosted in 2002 when it successfully secured £10m PFI credits from the Department for Culture Media and Sports (DCMS).
The credits were awarded to enable the council and its partners (Hythe Town Council and Folkestone Sports Centre Trust - who also had to commit financial contributions to the project) to build a new pool and sports centre at South Road Recreation Ground in Hythe and improve sports facilities in Folkestone.
However, in 2007, following 'significant and fundamental' issues with the project concerning affordability and relationships between partners, the PFI credits were withdrawn by the DCMS.
Despite the setback, the council reaffirmed its commitment to replace its old swimming pool in Hythe and continued to look for a suitable site.
An application to register Princes Parade as a Town Green was turned down by Kent County Council (KCC) in 2011.
Following this decision, Folkestone & Hythe District Council commissioned a study to clarify the role Princes Parade could play in fulfilling community needs. At the same time, a separate feasibility study - funded through Section 106 contributions from the Nickolls Quarry development - looked into potential sites for a new pool and recreation centre.
In December 2012 Cabinet endorsed the results of the feasibility study which had concluded that of three options considered for a new pool and recreation centre (the current pool site, Nickolls Quarry and Princes Parade), Princes Parade was the preferred option.
Since then, various additional potential uses for Princes Parade site have emerged and been assessed - including a new primary school and new homes. However, a new swimming pool has remained at the heart of Folkestone & Hythe's proposals as has a commitment to provide new public open space and to enhance the setting of the Royal Military Canal.
In 2015, at the request of Hythe Town Council (HTC), Folkestone & Hythe District Council investigated the potential of The Green in Hythe - which is owned by HTC - as a site for a new swimming pool and recreation centre. Folkestone & Hythe District Council asked HTC to consider making its land available and at the same time asked KCC to confirm its position on building a new primary school on Princes Parade.
Issues surrounding existing covenants on The Green made it an unviable option for a new pool and recreation centre and Princes Parade remained the preferred development location - although without a new primary school following KCC's failure to confirm its support.
In April 2016 Cabinet decided that a new pool and recreation centre, up 150 new homes and new public open spaces should form the basis of a planning application. The increased number of homes - from an original proposal of 36 - is proposed to help meet costs of the development.
In February 2017 Cabinet agreed the 'detail and nature' of the project. A planning application is now being prepared and is likely to be submitted in the summer 2017.
The council is aware of the range of views and differences in public opinion over its proposals and feedback from public consultation helped shaped the report considered by Cabinet in February 2017.
There will be further opportunities for public comment through the formal consultation process when the planning application is submitted.
A full background to this project is detailed below:
The planning application for Princes Parade was published - reference number Y17/1042/SH
A report was considered by Cabinet which outlined the detail and nature of the proposed planning application for Princes Parade to be submitted to the local planning authority.
The report contains a summary of the community engagement carried out by Edwards Harvey in November 2016, and includes copies of the consultation materials
The report gave the authority to the Head of Strategic Development Projects to submit an application for planning permission based on the following;
Two community engagement events were carried out by Edwards Harvey for Folkestone & Hythe District Council, which included public exhibitions held at Seabrook Church Hall on the 29 November and Hythe Town Hall on the 30 November.
The masterplan proposal for the engagement events was based on the following key principles;
A summary of the public responses can be found in the report below which directly influenced the report to Cabinet in February 2017.
Edwards Harvey Princes Parade Community Engagement Campaign Report 5 December 2016
District wide consultation was carried out on the Places and Policies Local Plan: Preferred Options which began on the 7th October and last for 6 weeks.
The plan (which contains Policy UA25 for Princes Parade, Hythe), features 56 sites across the district that could provide 2,500 much needed new homes, and over 13 hectares of land for offices and other work spaces.
The Places and Policies Local Plan identifies specific sites for new homes and work spaces.
The Preferred Options document contains Policy UA25 that supports development of the Princes Parade site based on the following:
The Preferred Options document and the previous Issues and Options document can be accessed here.
The report to Cabinet seeking authorisation to approve the draft document (which Contains Policy UA25 Princes Parade, Hythe) and proceed with the public consultation can be found at the following link.
A report to Cabinet was submitted in June which outlined three major repairs required at Hythe Pool, (the replacement roof, pool liner and chlorine storage tank), following major failures in each of these elements.
These repairs were essential to stop permanent closure of the Pool. Cabinet approved the funding required to carry out the essential works
An update on the decisions relating to the replacement Hythe Swimming Pool and considering the land use options for Princes Parade was submitted to Cabinet in April.
A report by Tibbalds outlined three options which included the extent of each land use, and how they could be incorporated into the potential application for planning permission at Princes Parade.
It was agreed that the following mix of uses be included:
At this point as Kent County Council (KCC) could not confirm its position on the inclusion of the new school, Cabinet took the decision not to include the relocation of Seabrook Primary School as part of the masterplan.
The Council were subsequently contacted by Hythe and Saltwood Sailing Club who, after a meeting of its members, decided that they no longer wished to be included as part of the masterplan.
A report was submitted to Cabinet in February outlining the issues relating to the restrictive covenant on Hythe Town Council land at Hythe Green.
Legal advice recommended that the Council no longer sought to acquire the land at Hythe Green, thus making Princes Parade the preferred location for a new leisure centre.
The Cabinet decision was as follows:
That the Council should no longer seek to acquire the land at The Green (either on a freehold or leasehold basis)for the purpose of providing a new leisure centre.
The report to Cabinet in November responded to the request to consider options relating to Hythe Green (as the preferred location option for a new leisure centre with Princes Parade as a second choice) and KCC's involvement regarding the relocation of a new primary school for Seabrook to Princes Parade.
The subject areas covered were:
This Cabinet report provides an update on the progress of the Princes Parade project. The report recommends that progress continues with a range of work streams looking at the potential redevelopment of the site.
The subject areas covered were;
A Statement of Community Involvement (see link below) was produced for the Places and Policies Local Plan Issues and Options Consultation.
This document sets out the actions Folkestone & Hythe District Council undertook in advance of, and during the consultation period for the Places and Policies Local Plan Issues and Options document.
Places and Policies Local Plan Issues and Options. Draft Policy C9, Provision of New Community Facilities in Hythe, set out options related to the concentration of the new community facilities on the Princes Parade site or a more dispersed model.
The report to Cabinet in May outlined the progress made on the Princes Parade project since Cabinet last considered the matter in July 2013.
The report provided Cabinet with the results of the revised development options for a new leisure centre and the revised development cost options for a mixed use development on Princes Parade which included;
A report was taken to Cabinet in July which outlined the progress made on the Princes Parade project since Cabinet last considered the matter in December 2012.
The report provided Cabinet with the results of the second stage consultation and a revised plan to take the project forward.
The principle objectives of the Princes Parade project were defined in the report as follows;
The report also identified the following workstreams to take the Princes Parade project forward;
The report also identified the following workstreams to take the Princes Parade project forward;
A second stage of public consultation was carried out in February following an initial consultation during the summer of 2012.
This second stage of consultation set out a series of scenarios for future activities at Princes Parade, including different extents of site use, balances of open space and active use and locations across the site.
The purpose was to understand the potential of the site, the effect of different approaches to the site, and to gather opinion from a range of stakeholders, residents and businesses.
The stage 2 consultation ran from Friday 8 February to Friday 8 March 2013 with activities of the consultation process including:
By providing a range of formats and opportunities for comment, the consultation was designed to draw out opinion and feedback from a broad section of the local community.
A summary of the consultation can be found in the document below.
Report to Cabinet outlines the recommendations of Strategic Leisure, the consultants commissioned to undertake a feasibility study to determine the most suitable location for a new leisure centre.
The feasibility study explored 3 location options. The study was funded through the Section 106 planning agreement for the Nickoll's Quarry development, which contained a financial contribution towards a sports, leisure and community facilities.
The report concluded that Princes Parade was the most appropriate location for the new leisure centre.
Following defeat of the Town Green application, Officers were asked to give consideration to options for the site, which included fencing the site to prevent public access.
This proved a costly option and in preference to this, a study was commissioned to clarify the potential for meeting community needs which included leisure facilities, education, a range of public open spaces and any housing or commercial activities at the site.
The decision of Cabinet authorised the Head of Strategic Projects to continue with the project and request that a further report be presented to Cabinet at the next appropriate stage in the project.
Town Green Application Details
Date 2009 (Application) - 2011 (Decision)
The Application to register land at Princes Parade, Seabrook as a new Town Green, including a copy of the statement and minutes of the meeting, can be found on the Kent County Council website at the following link :-
Cabinet report which set out the range of opportunities that existed within the district, to develop sports and leisure provision in the district. It set out a framework for the improvement of facilities and for other initiatives across the district.
Provision of a new pool and gym at Nickolls Quarry was supported within the report.
Prior to 2008 related PFI reports
Folkestone & Hythe District Council Local Plan Review 2006
The Folkestone & Hythe District Local Plan Review was adopted. This included site two site specific policies covering the Princes Parade site TM8 and LR9.
LR9 is a general policy seeking to protect public open space whilst TM8 support the provision of low key leisure facilities on an area of land at the eastern end of the site.
The District Council has sought, through the SDLP, to allocate the site for residential use. This was not accepted by the planning inspector who considered that the unique nature and openness of the site should be retained.