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Gary Fuller | Councillor for Sandgate & West Folkestone

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Still Standing Up for Princes Parade: Opposing the new Folkestone and Hythe Local Plan

September 17, 2020 3:00 PM
Originally published by Tim Prater | Councillor for Sandgate & West Folkestone, Sandgate Village, Harvey West & Hythe East

Princes ParadeAt an online extraordinary meeting of Folkestone and Hythe Council on 16th September, the Council considered the adoption of the Local Plan.

The motion passed 17 for, 12 against and 1 abstention.

Although this is an important document to the Council, and a tool to limit uncontrolled development in the area, I was not able to support it, and neither did my colleague Gary Fuller. Essentially as part of the plan a number of sites are indentified and listed as suitable for development under certain criteria. One of those listed was Princes Parade, and on that site, and some others, we have a fundamental opposition to the development of the site. I voted against the Plan at Cabinet, and I did so again at Full Council.

On the night I said (approximately!):

"Although there is much I can accept in this plan, I cannot accept or vote for a plan containing AU18 - the inclusion of Princes Parade as a development site.

"This isn't one line in the plan we come back to later. The option to oppose Princes Parade development in planning has passed. It was agreed by the previous Council.

"The option to vote against Princes Parade development at Council has passed. We won. The majority were against. It should have stopped there.

"And yet it still goes on. I'm afraid I'll take no lectures on how to influence developments outside the plan.

"On joining Cabinet I, and Cllr Whybrow, did so only on the basis that we could vote however I felt fit, for or against proposals at Cabinet and in Council.

"The leader accepted that point, but insisted on an agreement that we were consistent in our approach and didn't vote one way at Cabinet and differently elsewhere.

"That was wise, and perfectly reasonable.

"I will keep my word, as he would expect me to do.

"I voted against the adoption of this PPLP at Cabinet. Having voted against there, and with Princes Parade remaining in the plan now, I cannot and will not be changing my vote now.

"I will be voting against this plan now."