Work starts on seafront ‘freshen up’ – Kent Online - Freelance Rack

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Friday, June 19, 2020

Work starts on seafront ‘freshen up’ – Kent Online

Work to ‘freshen up’ Folkestone’s seafront is due to start on Monday.

The council’s beach hut renovation scheme will see 44 of the current chalets, which have fallen into disrepair and are between Folkestone harbour and Sandgate, demolished and 80 new wooden ones installed near the Lower Leas Coastal Park.

The current beach huts in Folkestone. Picture: Nicola Tolson

The current beach huts in Folkestone. Picture: Nicola Tolson

The current beach huts in Folkestone. Picture: Nicola Tolson

They are expected to resemble the ones in Dover and Whitstable, and will vary in size from 1.8m x 1.8m up to 3m x 3m, with pitched felt roofs and finished with a stain.

In addition, 35 of the existing beach huts are to get a facelift and work is also being carried out in the surrounding area to improve retaining walls and repair ramps and steps.

The scheme was first proposed in 2019 by landlords, the Folkestone Parks and Pleasure Grounds charity, which is made up of members of Folkestone and Hythe District Council’s (FHDC) cabinet, and was initially due to go to planning committee in March.

But due to the coronavirus outbreak was delayed and the scheme was approved at a meeting in May.

Cllr John Collier, cabinet member for property management and grounds maintenance said: “We are delighted to make a start on this overdue scheme.

The tiered huts will escape demolition

The tiered huts will escape demolition

The tiered huts will escape demolition

“It will bring about a much-needed improvement for the beach front area and also enables us to increase the number of beach huts.

“The trustees of the Folkestone Parks and Pleasure Grounds charity have supported this scheme as a way of regenerating the area and stopping the anti-social behaviour.

“It will also allow the rental income of the chalets to be maximised which is important so that we can reduce any financial burden on council tax payers.

“The huts bring visitors to the area to enjoy our coastline and are so popular that we currently have a waiting list of people wishing to lease them.”

The project is expected to take several months and it is intended that the huts will be ready for use by next season.

Cllr John Collier

Cllr John Collier

Cllr John Collier

The first stage of the scheme will see some of the huts torn down, and there may be some minor changes to access routes to the promenade and beach in the area.

But the council says the contractors will be working to keep any “disruption to a minimum”.

The project was made possible after members of FHDC approved a loan of £500,000 to the Parks and Pleasure Grounds charity in November last year.

The charity says it is expected to see a return of more than £2m over the next 25 years through chalet rental costs.

The work on the beach huts will run alongside the construction already taking place at the seafront to build 84 new luxury homes.

Work continues at Folkestone seafront to build 84 new luxury homes. Picture: Jenner

Work continues at Folkestone seafront to build 84 new luxury homes. Picture: Jenner

Work continues at Folkestone seafront to build 84 new luxury homes. Picture: Jenner

The work, happening near to the Leas Lift, is phase one of a planned 1,000 home development along the coastline, which will also include restaurants and shops.

Main contractor Jenner says the scheme is “progressing well” after some temporary delays caused by Covid-19 which saw the site close for a period.

Crews are now concentrating on piling, a new drainage connection and groundworks but had to fit “enhanced dust suppression methods” to protect nearby homes from excess debris and dust clouds.

A spokesman for Jenner said: “Groundworks are progressing well by Jenner Contractors on site for the first phase of the Folkestone seafront development to deliver 84 luxury new homes on behalf of the Folkestone Harbour and Seafront Development Company.

“Piling operations to deliver the building foundations commenced mid-May and has proved quite a challenge amidst one of the driest months on record, necessitating enhanced dust suppression methods to ensure excess debris remains within acceptable levels to protect neighbouring residents and their properties.

CGI of the new homes being built on the seafront. CGI by ACME

CGI of the new homes being built on the seafront. CGI by ACME

CGI of the new homes being built on the seafront. CGI by ACME

“Alongside piling operations a new drainage connection for the development is underway.

“Works to the east block have now concluded with machinery moving to the far west side of the site, with piling anticipated to complete in early July.”

Why are beach huts so popular? Click here

Read more: All the latest news from Folkestone




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