Shape of Scenic Beach Path Emerges

Thursday, May 25th, 2017

The landscape at Folkestone Seafront is changing rapidly and while many of the large dunes have gone a new feature is taking shape. 

The latest addition will be a boardwalk that creates new access to Folkestone Harbour Arm and connects it with the Lower Leas Coastal Park.  This new path will connect to the former station, where work to repair and renovate continues, as well as the viaduct, which is currently undergoing works to become a pedestrian walkway.  These routes will improve connectivity around the harbour itself and help enhance access between the Coastal Park, the Stade and beach areas, the Creative Quarter and other parts of the town centre, anticipating the wider opportunities that the seafront development will bring.

The current works to raise site levels will continue until the end of June and preparations for the boardwalk are starting at the eastern end of the site near the Coastal Park.

The work is an important step towards the transformation of one of Folkestone’s most iconic sites, which will help redefine the relationship between the town and the sea.  Development of Folkestone Seafront has required investment in significant infrastructure, including the creation of sea defences. This has been greatly assisted by a grant of £5 million from the Regional Growth Fund, with support from the South East Local Enterprise Partnership, Kent County Council, and Shepway District Council. The case for this investment was built around the provision of new homes, the creation of jobs for the area and the multiplier effect this will have on the local economy.  Significant up-front funding is also being provided by Sir Roger De Haan. 


Viaduct Renovation

Friday, April 21st, 2017

Folkestone harbour development, folkestone viaduct, walkway, lifestyle, sea views, landscape, high lineWhile the heavy machinery and activity connected to the dredging and level raising has caught our attention at Folkestone harbour, the works to repair and renovate the viaduct have been progressing.  This area of work focusses on preserving the structure and connecting the former railway station and viaduct to the town.

Folkestone Viaduct, Folkestone harbour news, Folkestone regeneration, new development FolkestoneIt will create new access to Folkestone Harbour Arm by using the viaduct that carried trains across the harbour as a pedestrian walkway.  The aim is to provide a direct route between the town and the Harbour Arm, via the former railway station platforms, and will ultimately link with a boardwalk along the beachfront towards the Leas Coastal Park. This will improve connectivity around the harbour itself and help enhance access between the Coastal Park, the Stade and beach areas, the Creative Quarter and other parts of the town centre, anticipating the wider opportunities that the seafront development will bring.

During the coming months the area will be landscaped and new railings will be added. A staircase and lift will be constructed to provide access between the viaduct and Harbour Square, adjacent to the fountains. Care is being taken to respect the listed status of the structure and to preserve and enhance its heritage value, whilst introducing a function that is relevant to the area’s future.

The work is an important step towards the transformation of one of Folkestone’s most iconic sites, which will help redefine the relationship between the town and the sea. To date this has included the opening of Rocksalt, a signature restaurant overlooking the inner harbour, the creation of interactive fountains in a new public square and the Harbour Arm itself.  

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Folkestone Harbour Arm New Season

Friday, March 17th, 2017

Final preparations are in hand for the 2017 season on Folkestone Harbour Arm, with some outlets already trading and reporting brisk business.

The Harbour Arm has remained open for walking and fishing throughout the winter, closed occasionally when poor weather and rough seas make it dangerous. Food and drink providers are now returning, with some businesses having opened at times during the colder months, notably “Dockers”, who have baked their speciality bread at least once a week and established a core and loyal following. Like other outlets on the Harbour Arm they have local roots and have been encouraged to expand gradually as more people discover the Harbour Arm as a great new venue where they can eat, drink and buy local speciality items.

Over the next few weeks more of the favourite outlets will return, and by the end of March most will be open regularly at weekends, with extended opening hours during school holidays and in the peak summer months. Opening patterns will also reflect demand, so that larger numbers of visitors will result in longer opening times for cafes and bars.

Harbour Arm Curator Diane Dever says: “From the outset we have made it a priority to create opportunities for local entrepreneurs to establish businesses on the Harbour Arm, so visitors will encounter no national chains or high street logos. Our outlets are often also creators and makers, and we are proud that many of them have grown with us: Follies, for example is opening another new venue, this time in Hythe, to add to their small family of restaurants in Dover and Folkestone. Generally, the food and drink offer in Folkestone has become more and more successful.”

The Harbour Arm is free to access, and plenty of car parking is available on site. Entertainment is organised at weekends, with the emphasis on providing a platform for local musicians. In 2016 the line-up included internationals such as Namvula, Grupo Lokito, and Bafula, as well as artists from closer to home, including Coco Lovers, Arcelia and Diane Dunn.

New developments for 2017 will see favourites “That Burger” and “The Big Greek Bus” introducing their own take on breakfast and “Just Ribz’s” becoming a full-time trader. “Cockles” will also expand its traditional offer, adding a new larger space and adding to its menu with a daily special soup and fish and seafood offered sushi-bar style. Fresh fish will be simply treated; raw or smoked, soused or steamed, bringing Scandinavian, South American and Japanese influence into play, along with traditional methods of serving seafood.

 The Harbour Arm team aims to bring more surprises and further choice during 2017. Up to the minute news on the music programme and activities will be provided on social media.  Regular programme updates will be issued through the website and announcements in the press.

Images from Freddie Lee Thompson.

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Seafront Site Activity -Dredging and Raising Levels

Friday, March 10th, 2017

The Folkestone harbour development site has seen quite a buzz of activity with dredging and level raising well underway.  These images show the process of beach nourishment, which is a technique that is widely used to manage shoreline erosion.  The current activity, which started at the end of February, includes raising the levels of the site to an acceptable level in preparation for the development.  

Plans for the developement include up to 1,000 homes, with a mix of beach houses, apartments and townhouses. The scheme secured outline planning consent in 2015 and has been prepared for development through significant investment from the landowner, Sir Roger De Haan. The 35-acre development will also incorporate recreational areas and public spaces as well as commercial space of up to 10,000 square metres and in due course is expected to generate 500 direct full-time jobs.  

Project Director David Crump said: “Detailed planning for the main construction phase is continuing and we expect to submit planning applications later this year, with the first homes going on sale shortly afterwards.”

A lot of material is required for the process of beach nourishment, which can mean bringing in external materials to the site by road or by sea.  However, at Folkestone Seafront we are able to extract the necessary materials from other areas of the site and replace materials with sand from the harbour.

 

Images Folkestone Seafront Development
Licence for use of the commissioning companies only.

The sand that is used to replace the materials is removed from the harbour through dredging.  As well as ensuring an environmentally sustainable  and self-contained site with enough internal materials to carry out beach nourishment, the dredging of the harbour offers other benefits as the fishing fleet will have longer each side of the tides to enter and leave the harbour.

Follow us on Twitter for more updates.

 


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Major Contracts Awarded as Seafront Development Moves Forward

Sunday, February 19th, 2017

Extensive activity will commence in early March in preparation for the development of Folkestone Seafront. 

The new work is a further important step towards the transformation of one of Folkestone’s most iconic sites, which will help redefine the relationship between the town and the sea. Developments to date have included the opening of RockSalt, a signature restaurant overlooking the inner harbour, the creation of interactive fountains in a new public square and the opening of the half mile-long Harbour Arm for recreation, food and drink, entertainment, walking, and fishing.

Graham Construction has been appointed to undertake large scale earthworks on the western part of the site, between the beach and Marine Parade. This will involve construction of sea defences, beach nourishment and other groundwork. At the same time, dredging will take place in the outer harbour, with material being redistributed as ballast on the main seafront site as required. This will help avoid the need to import ballast material and ensure that the site is self-contained and environmentally sustainable.  As work progresses, the area currently available for lorry parking will be gradually reduced.

Project Director David Crump said: “Folkestone Seafront presents an opportunity to create an environment that will stand the test of time, improve the attractiveness of the town for residents and visitors and provide better access to seaside amenities for generations to come. As we move into this phase of the development, contractors will be erecting hoardings and fencing around various parts of the site for safety and security reasons, signifying that work is beginning in earnest to prepare the area for construction.”

Mr Crump continued: “Detailed planning for the main construction phase is continuing and we expect to submit planning applications later this year, with the first homes going on sale shortly afterwards.”

Folkestone Harbour Company plans up to 1,000 homes, with a mix of beach houses, apartments and townhouses. The scheme secured outline planning consent in 2015 and has been prepared for development through significant investment from the landowner, Sir Roger De Haan. The 35-acre development will also incorporate recreational areas and public spaces as well as commercial space of up to 10,000 square metres and in due course is expected to generate 500 direct full-time jobs. Extraordinary costs of preparing infrastructure, including sea and flood defences, ground investigation, provision of essential services and public realm enhancements in readiness for site development have qualified the scheme for a £5m grant from the government’s Local Growth Fund, arranged through the South East Local Enterprise Partnership.

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Renovation of Viaduct and Former Railway Station Begins

Friday, February 17th, 2017

The development is progressing to the next stage of an ambitious renovation programme, which will focus on connecting the former railway station and viaduct to the town.

Following the highly successful renovation of the Harbour Arm in 2015/16, this new work is designed to extend the areas accessible to the public. It will create new access to the Harbour Arm by using the viaduct that carried trains across the harbour as a pedestrian walkway. The work, which is being carried out by Graham Construction, begins this month (February 2017), following preliminary work that has already begun to repair the structure. The aim is to provide a direct route between the town and the Harbour Arm, via the former railway station platforms, and will ultimately link with a boardwalk along the beachfront towards the Leas Coastal Park. This will improve connectivity around the harbour itself and help enhance access between the Coastal Park, the Stade and beach areas, the Creative Quarter and other parts of the town centre, anticipating the wider opportunities that the seafront development will bring.

Preliminary work on repairing the viaduct structure is at an advanced stage, having commenced over the winter. During the coming months the area will be landscaped and new railings will be added. A staircase and lift will be constructed to provide access between the viaduct and Harbour Square, adjacent to the fountains. Care is being taken to respect the listed status of the structure and to preserve and enhance its heritage value, whilst introducing a function that is relevant to the area’s future.  

Similarly, the former railway station, which in the past had become quite neglected, will be renovated to a high standard, surviving features such as the glass canopies will be restored, and the site’s heritage as a marine railway terminus will be recognised.

The work is an important step towards the transformation of one of Folkestone’s most iconic sites, which will help redefine the relationship between the town and the sea. To date this has included the opening of RockSalt, a signature restaurant overlooking the inner harbour, the creation of interactive fountains in a new public square and the Harbour Arm itself.  

The Harbour Arm opened for the first time in late 2015, followed by a full summer season in 2016. It proved to be a great success with residents and visitors to the town. Thousands of people come regularly to enjoy a vibrant mix of live music and entertainment and distinctive places to eat and drink: these will reopen for the 2017 season in late March. As work is completed on the renovation of the site’s historic infrastructure, interpretation and signage will be introduced to help tell the story of the harbour and Folkestone’s maritime heritage.

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