Swimming club back Princes Parade plan

HYTHE AQUA CLUB URGES SUPPORT FOR NEW SWIMMING POOL AND LEISURE CENTRE AT PRINCES PARADE
“If the plans are blocked then it could signal the end of our club” warns Chairman

Plans to build a new pool and leisure centre on Princes Parade have been praised by Hythe Aqua, the biggest swimming club in the district.

An application has been submitted to Shepway District Council that includes a leisure centre consisting of a six-lane 25m competition pool, teaching pool, spectator seating for up to 100 people, three exercise studios and a fully-equipped 100-station gym to replace the existing pool in South Road.

Hythe Aqua Club has been based in South Road since 1975 and has a growing membership of around 500, with the majority under the age of 16. Apart from a large Swimschool for learners, club members compete in competitive swimming, synchronised swimming, water polo, masters and open water events.

Chairman Jim Parris says members, past and present, are excited to see the unveiling of the long-awaited plans for the new pool, which is desperately needed to replace the ailing facility in South Road. The club is urging members to lodge their support during the public consultation process, especially younger members as they will ultimately be the long-term users of the new centre.

Previous efforts to build a new pool have been thwarted by local objectors over the past 15 years and Jim is critical of opponents of this latest scheme, who he feels are putting the future of his club in danger by their attempts to block the development.

“If the objectors to the Princes Parade scheme stop this proposal I fear Hythe pool will be forced to close when the next big maintenance issue arises and our community club in its current form will cease to exist,” adds Jim.

“Let’s get the facts straight – this is a brown field site, an old town dump! Why do people pretend this is a beauty spot? There are beautiful areas around Shepway but this is not one of them.

“This plan will return the land to community use and get rid of the race track along the seafront. It will also provide some much needed social housing for local people.

“It will provide not only a pool and leisure centre but lovely parkland that will attract visitors and boost the local economy. The canal area will be much improved for community use, while the promenade will be wider and can be enjoyed by all, including cyclists and children, away from the current race track,” he adds.

Almost half of the Princes Parade site is to be retained as public open space, while around 150 high quality homes, including 45 affordable units, could be built to address local housing needs and to help fund the delivery of the leisure centre and open space.

new swimming pool

Jim Parris of Hythe Aqua Club with Cllr David Monk, Leader of Shepway District Council

It’s planned to reroute a kilometre of the road at Princes Parade to the rear of the site to allow for an enhanced pedestrian and cycle route along the seafront and to provide an additional buffer between the canal and the development. The traffic-free promenade will be almost doubled in width and landscaped for residents and visitors to enjoy. The plans include small-scale commercial uses, such as a café, restaurant and a boutique hotel, to expand the range of services offered at the seafront.

Measures will be taken to enable the remediation and return to public use of the contaminated site, to reduce the impact of the scheme on the canal through a sensitive approach to the height and appearance of buildings, and to safeguard ecological features and introduce new habitat to encourage native species to flourish.

Residents can support the plans by visiting https://searchplanapps.shepway.gov.uk/online-applications, using reference Y17/1042/SH, or by writing a letter including their name, address and the application reference to Planning Department, Shepway District Council, Civic Centre, Castle Hill Avenue, Folkestone, CT20 2QY.

For more information about the scheme visit www.princesparade.co.uk

For more information about Hythe Aqua visit www.hytheaqua.org.uk

 

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