In the early New Year, Shepway District Council expects to bring forward the formal planning application for the development at Princes Parade in Hythe. As most readers know, the plan is for a mixed used development including a new swimming pool, new homes, and leisure and recreational space on the seafront.
There is certainly no doubt that Hythe needs a new swimming pool, as the current centre is at the end of its operating life. Last Friday, along with the Leader of Shepway Council, David Monk, and the management of the swimming pool, I visited to see the repair work being completed to allow the pool to open again this week. Whilst they are doing a great job with the resources at their disposal, you can only make do and mend for so long. Building a modern pool and properly equipped gym will be a great new sports asset for Hythe and the surrounding area. This new facility, with more to offer, will not only create a better experience for the users but will also be more financially sustainable for the same reason. There will be few other gyms in the country that will be able to boast the same spectacular sea views, as this one in Hythe will have. The site at Princes Parade also means that this new sports centre can complement running and cycling along the sea front, as well as the Seapoint canoe and kayaking centre. The rest of the proposed development maintains and in my view, enhances the walking routes along the Royal Military Canal, and creates open air play facilities for younger families. By moving the road behind the development, it also means if can be perfectly integrated into the seafront, making it a safer place for people of all ages to enjoy Hythe Bay. I’m sure that many residents will also enjoy sitting out at one of the proposed new cafes on the seafront as well.
Of course, with any proposed changes, there will be questions about the plans, born out of a desire to make sure we get things right. I believe though that his plan could be a great addition to the district. As I have written about before, there is also a need for new homes in our area to meet local demand. The building of these homes will also bring more money into our community and create new jobs.
After an often turbulent year, marked at times both by tragedy and examples of extraordinary courage and commitment, the Christmas season is with us again. At this time of peace and goodwill to all, we remember the miracle of the birth of Jesus Christ, a baby born in a manger, who was sent to change the world, and bring us closer to God. Along with my wife Sarah, and our children Claudia and Hugo, we send our best wishes to all readers for Christmas and the New Year.
20th December 2018