Sir Roger De Haan’s Folkestone Seafront Development has over the years caused a lot of controversy. Cllrs were refused sight of the legal advice the Council had received, about the s73 application for the site. Residents hit out about the mass and size of the development and making valid complaints and comments on the planning application. Cllr Jackie Meade (Lab) then a town councillor even called the application in, but this too failed and planning permission was eventually granted.
Now work has begun to build the flats on the site, it is causing controversy once again.
Residents in Marine Terrace and Marine Parade have complained about excessive dust levels being caused on the site affecting the peaceful enjoyment of their homes and their local environment. They have even produced significant photographic evidence that it is an issue.
On Sunday 3rd May, an officer alleges they visited the site. In a Response to Cllr Mary Lawes of Folkestone Town Council, on June 3rd, the officer states:
I carried out a perimeter walk around the active site and noted the construction appeared to be done in a calm controlled manner.
Now of course no construction was being undertaken on the site at the time of the visit, as it was closed. So how could construction appear to being done in a calm controlled manner? Has the officer lied? To us it would appear so, but we’ll leave you to make up your own mind.
Moving on, Cllr Nicola Keen (Lab) and Cllr Ray Field (Ind), are the ward Cllrs for Folkestone Harbour ward. Neither of them live in the ward, so are often unaware of issues affecting residents.
Cllr Keen states in a response on social media to our public face:
also I will let Cllr Davison know as she is the councillor for central the ward the site is in.
But the site is NOT in Cllr Davison’s ward it is in Cllr Keen’s and Cllr Field’s ward, Folkestone Harbour Ward.
So not only do we have an officer who appears to be telling untruths, we have an elected Cllr who does not even know their own ward boundary. This is what residents have to put up with across our district.
Now dust, just like noise or smell can be a statutory nuisance and as such the residents have the right to bring a case before the Magistrates Court under s82 of the Environmental Protection Act. We would advise this route, as some sensible Cllrs are trying to get the issue resolved, but receiving less than satisfactory responses from the Council officers.
Also we note the Cabinet Member for Air Quality – Cllr Lesley Whybrow (Green Party), has come late to the party, adding her tuppence worth, which is of no real use to any of the residents who live in Marine Crescent, or Marine Parade. But that of late seems par for the course for this particular Cllr.
Is it any wonder then, residents of Marine Crescent and Marine Parade have little faith in our Council, or some Cllrs, to do anything about the issue of dust which is affecting air quality in their community; given they are up against a large Tory donor, Sir Roger De Haan who owns the site via his various companies. We’ll leave you to to mull that over.
The Shepwayvox Team
Journalism For the People NOT the Powerful