Hythe Civic Society aims to promote high standards of planning and architecture. It does so by vetting all Hythe planning applications making appropriate comments to Shepway District Council. The Society comments on Shepway planning policy documents. The Society also aims to secure the preservation, protection, development and improvement of features of historic and/or public interest.





Shepway Core Strategy

The Core Strategy is the overarching, long term plan for the district to 2026. The policies in this strategy have formed the basis for the adopted 2013 Shepway Local Plan, for deciding planning applications and for guiding public and private sector investment decisions.

The adopted 2013 Core Strategy originally included a housing development of some 650 houses on the Folkestone racecourse. The Inspector did not find any compelling evidence for this large development in the open countryside and the proposal was deleted from the final document. The adopted 2013 Core Strategy can be found at: www.shepway.gov.uk/planning/planning-policy/local-plan/core-strategy

Shepway DC is now carrying out a review of the adopted 2013 Core Strategy as there have been many changes since the Core Strategy was adopted. For example - the national population projection figures have been updated, National Planning Practice Guidance has changed and Shepway DC has reviewed its own Corporate Plan which includes the Otterpool Park development.  Further information can be found at: www.shepway.gov.uk/planning/planning-policy/local-plan/core-strategy-review-2016

Consultation on the “preferred options stage“ of the new Core Strategy is anticipated early in 2018 with final adoption in 2020. The Society will be involved in this consultation.

Shepway Local Plan

All planning authorities must have detailed up to date planning policies. The lack of an up to date Local Plan with at least a 5 year supply of identified housing sites gives a strong advantage to developers when planning applications are submitted for housing.

The 2006 Local Plan was reviewed and updated in 2013. This Local Plan is currently under review. The 2013 document can be found at: www.shepway.gov.uk/places-and-policies

In October and November 2016 there was a consultation period for the “preferred options stage” of a new Local Plan. The Society made some 10 or so comments after it had heard the views of its members at a specially arranged meeting addressed by the Head of the Planning Policy Team at Shepway DC. All comments submitted as part of the 2016 consultation can be found at: http://shepway-consult.objective.co.uk/portal/

All the comments submitted to Shepway DC have been assessed and the next stage of a “submission draft” commenced on 4 February 2018.  The consultation period lasts until mid-night on 19 March 2018.  A subsequent Examination in Public is expected later sometime in 2018. The Society is in the process of consulting its members on two major issues – the lack of any substantial mention of Otterpool Park Garden Town and the inclusion of Princes parade as a major development site.  The Society will be submitting its comments on the “submission draft” before the deadline and expects to take part in the Examination in Public.





Princes Parade


In February 2017 Shepway DC Cabinet endorsed an officer report to continue to work towards submission of a planning application for the development of Princes Parade for a leisure centre (swimming pool, a fitness studio, car parking but removing the sports hall), 150 houses on a smaller overall footprint, a larger area of public open space and an enhanced promenade area. The planning application is expected later in 2017. When submitted there will be an opportunity for public comment. Further information can be found at: www.shepway.gov.uk/princes-parade

There is strong opposition to any development on Princes Parade. Further information on the case against development can be found at: www.saveprincesparade.org

Your Committee’s policy is to be totally opposed to development on Princes Parade: we think that this should remain as open space but with full public access. We also think that the proposed leisure centre should be built on either the Smiths’ medical site in Boundary Road, Hythe or on a site, not necessarily the site initially agreed, within the large development at Martello Lakes.

In September 2017 Shepway DC, as landowners and promotors of the development, submitted a hybrid planning application to itself, as the planning authority, for the following development:

The development of land at Princes Parade, comprising an outline application (with all matters reserved) for up to 150 residential dwellings; up to 1,270sqm of commercial uses including hotel use, retail uses and / or restaurant/cafe uses; hard and soft landscaped open spaces including children’s play facilities; surface parking for vehicles and bicycles; alterations to existing vehicular and pedestrian access and highway layout within and around the site; site levelling and groundworks; and, all necessary supporting infrastructure and services. A full application for a 2,961sqm leisure centre including associated parking, open spaces and children’s play facility.

Full details of this hybrid planning application together with comments made by the Civic Society, statutory consultees and the public can be found at:


At its October meeting the Society’s Committee agreed to object to the application on the same grounds as it used to object to the site allocation in the 2016 Local Plan consultation plus the grounds that the application was thought to be premature as the current Local Plan review process had not been through the external and independent examination by an Government appointed Inspector and, therefore, the whole process had not been concluded. The Committee also agreed to object on grounds of increased traffic.


click photo above to watch a video courtesy of: geekanoids.co.uk

Otterpool Park

In December 2015 Shepway DC purchased Otterpool Manor Park farm as an investment. In March 2016 the Government invited expressions of interest to develop new garden settlements to help ease the lack of new housing. Shepway DC submitted Otterpool Park in mid June 2016. The only public briefing before the submission was a meeting with representatives of the immediately surrounding Parish Councils less than 10 days before submission. The Parish Councils were not in favour! In August 2016 all Parish and Town Councils were invited to a presentation. In mid November 2016 Government gave the go-ahead for Otterpool Park with a financial grant towards preparatory work. The first consultation opportunity for the general public was in early December 2016 in which the Society participated. The second round of public consultation took place in the early summer of 2017. Further information can be found at: www.shepway.gov.uk/otterpool-park

Your Committee felt it had insufficient information to come to any conclusion on Otterpool Park and how it may affect Hythe over the next 20/30 years. So HCS asked the Council Leader to come and put the case to us which he, and two senior officers, did in September 2017. Assurances were given that the detailed planning of the development will ensure that health, education and transport facilities will be in situ from the earliest days, obviating any additional pressure on our already over-stretched resources, and that the retail element will compliment rather than compete with Hythe High Street. It is clear however that such a major development “on our doorstep” will have effects that are hard to predict and your Committee will seek further clarification of the situation as the plans develop in detail.

In the meantime your Committee asks all members, especially those who attended the presentation, to let HCS know what their opinions are so that your Committee can settle a policy that fully takes those opinions into account.

Will members please send their opinions to the Hon Secretary by letter or by email to: enquiries@hythecivicsociety.org






Your Committee continues to monitor ALL planning applications in Hythe. There are, on average, about 20 applications per month. The Society does not comment to Shepway DC on many applications as the Society is largely concerned about major and significant proposals.

Your Society encourages individual members to contact Shepway Planning – by email at planning@shepway.gov.uk or in writing to Planning, Shepway District Council, Civic Centre, Castle Hill Avenue, Folkestone, Kent CT20 2QY – about any planning application of concern. It would be helpful if your comments were also sent to your Ward Councillor. Contact details for Ward Councillors can be found at www.shepway.gov.uk/moderngov/mgMemberIndex.aspx?bcr=1

If you wish to follow the progress of a particular planning application and/or to see what comments have been made by other people or organisations please go to https://searchplanapps.shepway.gov.uk/online-applications/ and insert the appropriate details.

Planning Applications considered at the March 2018 meeting:

This March report commences with reference to the Prime Minister’s speech on 5 March 2018 on the need to build significantly more housing and proposed changes to the National Planning Policy Framework to achieve that growth. The changes to the NPPF, which “trumps” Shepway planning policies, are out on consultation until 10 May 2018. More information on the Prime Minister’s speech can be found at www.gov.uk/government/news/prime-minister-launches-new-planning-rules-to-get-england-delivering-homes-for-everyone

Y16/0794/SH – St Saviour’s Hospital, Seabrook Road. HCS has objected.  Acknowledgement received.  Still awaiting a decision by SDC.    

Y17/1042/SH – Princes Parade.  Detailed development of land for leisure centre, associated parking, open spaces and children’s play facility and outline development of up to 150 houses; commercial uses (including hotel use, retail uses and restaurant/café uses); hard and soft landscaped open spaces (including children’s play facilities, surface parking for vehicles and cycles); alterations to existing vehicular and pedestrian access and highway layout within and around the site; site levelling and groundworks; and, all necessary supporting infrastructure.  HCS has objected.   Acknowledgement received. Awaiting a decision by SDC

Y17/1377/SHAldi at Kengate Industrial Estate, 142 Dymchurch Road, Hythe.  Erection of a new 1800sqm retail store with associated construction operations, car parking, servicing, landscaping and new vehicular access following removal of the existing buildings comprising retail, industrial and commercial units of varying sizes. Acknowledgement received. Awaiting a decision by SDC.

Y17/1543/SH – Pensand House, South Road. JT reported this application for the replacement of existing pitched roof of Pensand House with 6 penthouse apartments arranged over 2 floors, together with render finish, new windows and balconies to Pensand House and Marlborough Court, and associated hard and soft landscaping. Agreed not to object but to comment that the balcony steel structures need to be of sufficient quality that no dripping rust deposits appear and ruin the render. Acknowledgement received. Awaiting a decision by SDC.

Y18/0150/SH - Grey Walls, 25 Albert Road. Erection of six terraced dwellings and associated vehicular access and off road parking, following demolition of existing dwelling and west boundary wall. It was agreed to object on the grounds of overdevelopment as insufficient on-site parking provided that will result in additional on-street parking for which there is insufficient capacity. The re-design should allow for a replacement of some form of rag stone wall.