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Reprieve for The Downs

It’s been a long time coming, but the penny has finally dropped. The unloved and unlovely development plans for the Downs are being ditched on the recommendation of the council’s Leisure people.

This should be confirmed at the meeting of the Executive on 12th August at 6:30pm in The Guildhall, Westgate, Canterbury – it’s a public meeting, so do feel free to pop in. The highlights of the report to the Executive are:

  • To note the Council objection to the Village Green application.
  • To discard the proposed beach hut project previously approved 8th December 2008 due to further research highlighting coastal protection concerns.
  • To reinstate the area highlighted in appendix A as public open space to be held under the Public Health Act 1875.
  • To support the community environmental enhancement project whilst recognising that the primary purpose of the area is coastal protection.

As you will see from the Council’s own telling of the story in the report, this long and wasteful episode could have been avoided if the Council’s in-house experts had been consulted and heeded at the outset.

Personally, I’m still curious to discover whose idea this was in the first place, and how it could have been allowed to drag on for so long despite being impractical and unworkable. Again personally, I am disappointed (verging on disgusted) that there is no acceptance, or even acknowledgement, on the Council’s part that this proposal was hugely unpopular from the very beginning.

Anyway, it’s a cracking result that we can all take pleasure and pride in.

Well done and thank you.

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