Vermin scupper Sir Roger De Haan’s planning permission on The Stade

On July 2021, we wrote the post Folkestone Harbour & Seafront Development Company pitches up on The Stade without Planning Permission‘, who wanted and did put six food and beverage pitches on The Stade – Folkestone.

Now for those of you who are not aware Folkestone Harbour & Seafront Development Company [FHSDC] is owned by Folkestone Harbour Holdings Ltd, which is owned by Sir Roger Michael De Haan, according to Companies House.

FHSDC did finally put in a planning application, under application number – 21/1492/FH,  which was heard on Tuesday night, 22.03.22, by the Planning Committee. It took 35 minutes for the Cllrs to deliberate the matter and in the end they decided to go against the officer’s recommendation and refused the application.  No units on the The Stade, for now. The applicant has the right to appeal to the Planning Inspectorate.


There were no Human Rights Issues, or Equality Issues within body of the application, 21/1492/FH. However, Councils must look into complaints about smells from industrial, trade and business premises that could be a ‘statutory nuisance’ (covered by the Environmental Protection Act 1990).

For the smell to count as a statutory nuisance it must do one of the following:

  • unreasonably and substantially interfere with the use or enjoyment of a home or other premises.

  • injure health or be likely to injure health

Nuisance smells can be caused by problems from food processors and commercial kitchens, such as the one’s proposed for The Stade.

It is possible for those affected by the nuisance to take their own private action directly to a Magistrates Court. This is done using exactly the same law used by Environmental Health Officers at the Council – the Environmental Protection Act 1990, but uses a different section – Section 82.

Here is some sensible guidance on how to use s82 of the Act

Also the two speakers against the planning permission both mentioned vermin amongst other things. It is known there has been an ongoing issue with rats in The Stade, for a number of years. Rats have gnawed cables and done damage in Council tenant homes, costing them money to repair. Yet the rats come in from land the Council own.

Under s2 of Prevention of Damage by Pests Act 1949, the council have Duties to the residents of the district. Section 2 states:

(1) It shall be the duty of every local authority to take such steps as may be necessary to secure so far as practicable that their district is kept free from rats and mice, and in particular—

(a) from time to time to carry out such inspections as may be necessary for the purpose aforesaid;

(b) to destroy rats and mice on land of which they are the occupier and otherwise to keep such land so far as practicable free from rats and mice;

(c) to enforce the duties of owners and occupiers of land under the following provisions of this Part of this Act, and to carry out such operations as are authorised by those provisions.

What steps have the council taken to secure so far as practicable that our district is kept free from rats and mice?

How often do they carry out such inspections as far as practicable to keep the land free from rats and mice?

When have they destroyed rats on land they occupy behind The Stade, as they must keep such land so far as practicable free from rats and mice?

Any more!!!

We’re sure, Cllrs could, if so minded, raise issues around the duties of the Council and ask questions of the Council’s Environmental Health Protection Team to investigate, at the next full council.

Back in Feb 2020, the vermin issue also affected The Leas, stretching from The Road of Remembrance, Lower Leas Coastal Park and Madeira Walk

You can report a pest problem to the Council, but it will cost you between £49.50 and £115.

We hope the council would be willing to share such information of any reports which led from any inspection, as the Council tenants and residents of the district need to know legitimately if the council are taking their duties seriously to minimize or neutralize the ongoing vermin issue across the district, which affect us all.

Here is a good guide if you are a private tenant, or council or housing association tenant suffering from a infestations of pests and vermin

What with more food, more vermin will thrive. And given the NPPF speaks of the need to increase biodiversity, more vermin does not bode well, when there would have been more food on offer, if the application had passed. 

Councillors took a bold step in refusing permission and let’s hope neither the Folkestone Harbour & Seafront Development Company, nor Folkestone Harbour Holdings Ltd via its owner, Sir Roger Michael De Haan, takes the Council to appeal.  

A little knowledge is a dangerous thing. And with the little knowledge provided, one would hope residents, & Cllrs alike, use their rights and enforce the council to follow its duties. This would bring a swift demise to the vermin infestation on The Stade, or anywhere else in our wonderful district.

The Shepway Vox Team

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1 Comment on Vermin scupper Sir Roger De Haan’s planning permission on The Stade

  1. Thank you to all at Vox, you provide a great service.

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