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New firm in talks to take on Beach Street revamp

Key regeneration plans to put town centre in touch with seafront

A NEW firm is believed to have come on board to deliver a key piece of regeneration in Herne Bay — linking Beach Street to the seafront. The proposal to demolish buildings between Central Parade and Beach Street will allow people to walk from the town centre to the seafront and open up wider views of the clock tower. It had been put forward by Beach Street Associates, but it is understood that another company has taken on the project, which entails the demolition of a derelict arcade in Central Parade and warehousing behind it. It has the support of Canterbury City Council. Peter Lee, chairman of the Herne Bay Regeneration Working Group, said:

“One of our key regeneration aims is to improve links, between the seafront and the shopping area. It means people won’t be coming here for just the one thing – either shopping or visiting the front. Instead, they can do both.”

Negotiations

“At the moment, I believe that negotiations between the city council and the architectural firm Clague’s clients are reaching an advanced stage, with a pre-planning application already in.”

To make the proposal financially viable, a number of homes, believed to be a mix of town houses and apartments, will be built by the developer on council land on both sides of Beach Street currently used as car parks. Cllr Lee said:

“The developer will need revenue from the properties to make the plans viable, but Beach Street is on a flood plain, so you can’t build on the ground floor. A sum will also have to be paid to the council because of the loss of revenue from the car parks. It’s a joint scheme in that sense, with the council providing the land, but it’s a public asset and so we are obliged to get best value.”

Mandy Broughton is a director of Beach Creative, an art gallery in Beach Street, and is supportive of the plans.

“Although we’re quite a long way from the seafront, it would be good to have a view through to the clock tower,” she said. “I think they’re trying to make an artists’ quarter there, which would be good. It’s always the complaint, that people come to the seafront but don’t visit the town.”

Herne Bay Times, April 8th 2015

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