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Plans for Herne Bay hovercraft rides are rejected by council

Plans to introduce hovercraft rides from Herne Bay’s seafront have been sunk by council officials. Officers decided the adrenalin-pumping experience would not fit in and dismissed the proposals as “inappropriate”.

But bosses have agreed for kayaks to be rented from the beach near Lane End and are in talks with a potential operator. Canterbury City Council’s outdoor leisure manager Richard
Griffiths said:

“We were approached with an idea for a hovercraft
concession but we said no because it was felt it was not appropriate for
the town. But the kayak concession could start from April 2013.”

The scheme is part of a host of new attractions planned for the
seafront, including refreshments at the Hampton play area, deckchairs
and toddler swings at Central Parade near the children’s amusements and
more telescopes along the seafront to allow people to see passing ships
and other activity off the coast.

But plans for military-style fitness sessions at the Downs led to
battle lines being drawn up between campaigner Phil Rose, of the
Friends of the Downs, and council bosses.

At a meeting of Herne Bay Area Members Panel on Tuesday, he
raised concerns that agreement had already been given for the circuits,
to be run by British Military Fitness from January, with no
consultation. Mr Rose, of Beacon Hill, said:

“I am involved with the
Friends of the Downs and I am not aware of this. There has been no
contact at all. It says something about the nature of the relationship
between the council and community groups – we should have been
involved.”

Mr Griffiths told councillors the scheme had his full support. He
said:

“The Downs is a well-used area and I don’t see any problems with
this.”

He said existing concessions, such as the ice cream cart at Spa
Esplanade and marketing booth for Bay Blast boat trips, would continue
along with the refreshments in the park.

Tory member Peter Lee, of the council’s ruling executive
committee and the Herne Bay regeneration group which also discussed the
plans, said it was a win-win situation for the town.

Herne Bay Times

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