East Cliff is an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB) and Site of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI) and is one of the most important prehistoric coastal sites in Britain.
The land is owned by the Folkestone Parks and Pleasure Grounds charity and managed by the council on behalf of the charity. Current facilities offered include grass tennis courts, a pitch and putt course, a bowls club and a children's play area.
All the facilities are in need of updating. In particular, the Shepway Play Area Review highlighted the area as having a shortage of play facilities for children and young people. This resulted in the play area being earmarked as a priority in the district's Play Area Strategy 2020 - 2030.
According to its consitution the charity has to be financially self sustainable so ways of funding the improvements have to be explored. ,
Trustees of the charity consider response to public consultation. It is agreed not to increase the leisure facilities at East Cliff but for the council to explore external sources of funding to improve the play area and address the cost of maintaining the existing sports facilities.
The responses to the summer survey are being collated for analysis and a paper will be prepared for consideration by trustees of the Folkestone Parks and Pleasure Grounds charity.
Survey (online and printed) published to gather views from residents and users about leisure and play facilities at East Cliff.
Feedback from the local community indicated a wide range of views about the future of East Cliff and the leisure facilities. A petition with 950 signatures objecting to a draft plan was received and presented to a full council meeting on 24 November 2021.
At a trustee meeting of Folkestone Parks and Pleasure Grounds charity, also on 24 November 2021, it was agreed that a full public consultation should take place. Views gathered as a result of consultation will be be presented to the trustees.
A draft plan, with new play area, visitor centre and improved routes to the nearby Warren drawn up by a landscape architect. Further exploratory work on the cliff area has been carried out, funded by a Kent County Council member grant.
Early discussions with stakeholders including the White Cliffs Countryside Project, the East Cliff Community Association and the Canterbury Archaeological Trust. Their contributions and the feedback from public consultation will influence the development of a plan to be presented to council members as part of any future scheme.
Page content updated: 27 July 2023