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Last Updated: Saturday, 10 November 2007, 13:36 GMT
Relief as harbour plans rejected
Whitstable Harbour
Campaigners have welcomed the rejection of harbour proposals
A 17,000-name petition appears to have paid off as three development proposals for a harbour area in north Kent have been recommended for rejection.

Whitstable Harbour Board decided that none of the plans submitted by Allied Land, Olympian Homes and Shepherd Neame were suitable for the South Quay.

It said it was still seeking some form of development to realise the harbour's "full potential" and ensure its future.

The Whitstable Harbour Watch group (WHW) welcomed the rejections.

The harbour board unanimously decided agaisnt recommending any of the options, but a final decision will be made by Canterbury City Council on 29 November.

A statement said: "We see the harbour as a vital resource for Whitstable that is cherished by local people.

Let's do with our harbour what is right for the long term
Maureen Smith, WHW

"Despite the disappointment in not finding a suitable developer, we will be working up further ideas to enhance and improve the South Quay."

The rejected schemes included plans for a supermarket, a restaurant and a 90-bedroom hotel on the harbour front.

But WHW spokeswoman Maureen Smith said: "They were not in any way harbour-related and they were far too big."

Ms Smith said there was a strong local desire for any additions to the working harbour to be related to the marine industry.

"You have very traditional sheds and working places for the fishermen and the people that sell the shellfish to us.

"We also have a lovely new harbour garden cafe, which is much more in keeping and more the kind of thing people would like in their harbour."

There are vacant sites at South Quay, and WHW has agreed new developments could help it remain financially viable.

But Ms Smith added: "Let's do with our harbour what is right for the long term, don't do it short term and get it wrong."

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