Shepway District Council Have Made An Offer To Purchase Former Gaswork’s Site at Ship Street, Folkestone.

Ship Street Former Gaswork Site (pictured below) is under offer and features on the National Grid Property Portal website. The agent is BNP Paribas. From sources within Shepway District Council, it is understood the Council have made an offer for the site. The site is presently owned by SGN Commercial Services Limited (SGN) according to the Land Registry. SGN are owned by Scotia Gas Networks Ltd, who are ultimately owned by SSE Plc, who some of you may get your gas and electricity from. (Not an offshore in site)

Screenshot from 2017-09-19 08-32-29

SGN Commercial Services Limited bought the site on the 12/06/2008 for the sum of £2,878,305

On the National Grid Property Portal it states:

  • The site is located near the centre of Folkestone in a relatively low income area. The site is boarded by a railway viaduct to the south, Bournemouth/Broadmead Road to the west, Ship Street to the north, and Foord Road to the east. The site benefits from excellent infrastructure links as it is located within close proximity to the M20.

  • The site is approximatelty 2.42 acres. The site has 2 access points via Ship Street and is surrounded by housing.  On site is an operational SGN gas govenor.

  • The property is elected for VAT and it will be charged at the prevailing rate on top of any purchse price.

Shepway District Council (SDC) as we understand have until the 28/09/2017 to make a bid to the Housing Infrastructure Fund and in particular the Marginal Viability Fund) to make the development feasible financially for the Council.The scheme requires significant investment in remediating the land which would make the scheme unviable for the Council unless it makes the application for the Marginal Viability Fund. This site is a brownfield site.

The land is currently under offer, which means sold subject to contract, according to Zoopla. So SDC have made a bid, but how much that offer is, is unknown presently. Whether it is more than the price SGN Commercial Services Ltd paid is unknown.

On Wednesday the 27th Sept SDC’s Overview & Scrutiny committee will convene for a special meeting at 4.30 pm, followed by a special Cabinet meeting at 5.30 pm, to discuss Ship Street we have been informed.. After this, there will be a full council meeting. Whether or not the Full Council will get to discuss the purchase of Ship Street is unknown.

The Ship Street site is allocated for residential development with an estimated capacity of 100 dwellings and public open space. However, it is known that SDC would build up to 85 homes.

It is in SDC’s Places and Policies Local Plan, Preferred Options for 2016 under policy UA 12, SDC say:

Screenshot from 2017-09-19 08-45-10

The proposal is not one that will generate a substantial commercial return for the Council and there is a risk that there could be a degree of loss, SDC admit.

What will happen to Jyll Bradley’s 2014 Triennial piece, (pictured below) which occupies some of the site is not known.


If SDC purchase the land will the houses be “affordable” for local people? We simply can’t answer that question at this stage.

The Shepwayvox Team


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