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Last Updated: Sunday, 4 September 2005, 12:57 GMT 13:57 UK
Protest over seafront homes plan
Toby Atkinson
Developer Toby Atkinson said architects had praised the plan
More than 200 people have demonstrated against plans to build nearly 700 flats on Folkestone seafront.

The proposal for the site of the former Rotunda amusement park includes 671 flats, a 150-bed hotel, restaurant, multiplex cinema and bowling alley.

Shepway District Council gave planning consent on 23 July despite opposition from Folkestone Town Council and Folkestone and Hythe MP Michael Howard.

The protesters gathered on Saturday on The Leas, overlooking the site.

Folkestone seafront is a unique site of priceless value which is capable of attracting a world-class development
Michael Howard

People opposed to the proposals by Trent Development say the modern design is at odds with Folkestone's Victorian seafront.

"The application doesn't seem to have considered the seafront in terms of its history and its heritage," said Simon Everett of the Save Our Seafront protest group.

"The actual plan on paper and the artist's impression was absolutely horrifying - I have never seen anything so brutal."

Mr Howard has asked Deputy Prime Minister John Prescott to hold a public inquiry into the plan.

"The Folkestone seafront is a unique site of priceless value which is capable of attracting a world-class development," he said.

'Great and good'

"Other proposals are in the course of preparation by world renowned architects.

"They include the harbour as well as the rest of the seafront. Surely we should have the opportunity of making a comparative judgement between the two?"

But Toby Atkinson, of Trent Development, said the scheme had been praised by "the great and the good of the architectural world".

"The Commission for Architecture and the Built Environment have looked at our scheme and have actively praised and supported it," he said.

"In fact they are saying it is a great asset to Folkestone."




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