With the addition of over 100 beach huts and the creation of a watersports center, we’ve taken a step forward in transforming the coastline.
Proposals to overhaul Romney Marsh’s Greatstone coastline were announced in 2021, with the Folkestone and Hythe District Council (FHDC) revealing they want the site to be a “tourist destination.”
The agency has now submitted an application providing details of their ambitious plans.
It includes plans for a visitor hub that includes four toilets, shower facilities, a café, and space for training and education.
Watersports facilities consist of corporate warehouses, classrooms and retail spaces. It operates from March to October.
In addition to this, the new chalets will be built overlooking the beach and open to long-term tenants.
Each chalet is staggered and all have sea views.
About 28 chalets already line the waterfront near the New Romney Sea Cadet Building.
The plan will upgrade the existing parking lot while also providing easier access to the beach.
FHDC’s vision is to “create new beachside destinations that offer community, tourism and recreational benefits,” stated in the planning documents.
This development aims to make more profitable use of the current site while supporting the tourism economy in the process.
The application states, “This project aims to support local economic growth, protect and enhance the environment, and create access to comprehensive facilities and activities.
“The new beachside visitor recreation area is also intended to reduce tourist foot traffic to high-use areas such as Dungeness Reserve.”
It is also expected that the café and workshop space will serve as a place for visitors and local residents to interact.
A total of 72 new parking spaces will be provided. It also adds new bins and signs, and the possibility to add solar panels to introduce green energy.
In a speech last year, district councilor David Wimble (Ind) said he was confident community members would be happy with the plan.
The nearly two miles of sandy beach are popular with tourists and already attract vacationers to the area.
Greatstone now consists mainly of residential buildings with several shops, local pubs and restaurants.
The application continues:
FHDC says the development will increase local visitor numbers and create the equivalent of six full-time jobs in the process.
The plan follows the success of Folkestone’s newly installed Beach Hut, which has added 80 new wooden huts to the shoreline as part of its 2021 revitalization plan.
The success of this project means the City Council may now look elsewhere in the district to increase beach hut and tourism offerings.