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Last Updated: Friday, 24 March 2006, 10:52 GMT
'Whole' seafront revamp planned
Folkestone Harbour
Mr de Haan bought Folkestone Harbour for 11m in 2004
Plans for a complete overhaul of the Folkestone seafront including a university, a revamped marina and fast ferry service have been put forward.

Former Saga boss Roger de Haan wants to see the whole of the seashore and the harbour redeveloped using designs by Sir Norman Foster's architecture firm.

But the plans cover land owned by three different groups.

Mr de Haan bought Folkestone Harbour for 11m in 2004 and is hoping for "support from the town" for his plans.

The redevelopment of the seafront had been planned with support from Kent County Council (KCC), the South East England Development Agency, and designed by Foster and Partners, Mr Haan said.

He said: "There are three main land owners. Two of us agreed this master plan is what is needed. My challenge is to persuade the third land owner to agree."

'No business interest'

And he said he hoped Shepway councillors would say they had "seen something better" than a scheme put forward by Trent Developments.

He had "no business interest" in the plan but wanted to see the town support the plan, he said.

Toby Atkinson, from Trent Developments, said he was "surprised".

"Architecture is architecture. One person's view can be very different to someone else's," he said.

"There is a very big danger of one landowner controlling and designing vast areas of any town, because it doesn't necessarily have texture."

He said Trent Developments were proposing more than 600 apartments with a cinema, bowling, hotel, casino, bars and restaurants, while Mr de Haan was proposing more than 600 apartments "and a paddling pool".

Shepway council said the Trent development had been given outline planning consent subject to certain conditions, while Mr de Haan's plan was one option in future town centre consultation.




SEE ALSO:
Firm to sponsor new school
04 Jul 03 |  Kent


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