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Last Updated: Sunday, 22 October 2006, 12:52 GMT 13:52 UK
Protest over Rotunda homes plan
Rotunda protest march
Campaigners believe Roger de Haan's plans are better for the area
Campaigners fighting proposals for the redevelopment of a town's seafront have voiced their concerns with a protest.

Hundreds of high-rise apartments, a cinema, bars and a restaurant could be built on the site of the former Rotunda amusement park in Folkestone, Kent.

But campaigners want Shepway District Council to back plans put forward by rival developer Roger de Haan, which would see lower-rise buildings.

Hundreds of people took to the streets of Folkestone on Saturday.

One protester spoke for everyone when he told BBC South East News: "We don't want Benidorm-on-sea down in Folkestone."

The former Rotunda amusement park
The Rotunda amusement park was closed down in 2003

They fear Trent Developments, which has received outline planning permission for the site, could go directly to the Government Office for the South East (GOSE), because the council still has not ratified its decision.

Campaigners want Roger De Haan's vision to be adopted instead.

The former owner of Saga already owns Folkestone Harbour after paying 11m for it in 2004 and his plan for the seafront would see much lower-rise buildings.

Philip Carter, from Go Folkestone, said: "We don't want just one block in the middle of that, and we just don't want to be bullied that we're letting our council take it's time and get the thing right.

"There's a vast support for the Roger de Haan masterplan as shown by 28% of the people voting for it in referendums and phone calls and letters."

The protesters fear the Trent proposals could completely bypass the local authority and have urged the council to listen to their concerns first.


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