The Seafront Development – Plot A
Plot A and the Leas Lift Square are another new stage in the Seafront Development in Folkestone. These proposals have been presented to the public for feedback as part of the continuing improvements in the Harbour and Seafront area. Since 2004, the Harbour and parts of Folkestone Seafront have been owned by the Folkestone Harbour and Seafront Development Company. Extensive renovation and refurbishments have gone on to ensure that this historic part of our town continues to play a vital role in day-to-day living for residents and visitors to Folkestone.
The Harbour Arm has become one of Kent’s major visitor attractions, with more than 2.3 million visits happening a year. The significant renovations have been authentic and in sympathy with the historical narrative of the town. There is a keen interest in keeping the area protected from the sea and salt-water by using rust-proof fixtures and fittings, and extensive protection against high tides and sea-level rises.
As part of the planning permission obtained in 2015, there is provision for up to 1000 new homes within this development. These properties will sit on the land bordering the beach, to the west of the Harbour Arm.
Work has started on Shoreline – Plot B – which aims to be open for sales in 2023. Plot A and Leas Lift Square is the area to the west of Shoreline, near the Lower Leas Coastal Park. Plot A will deliver 13 new apartments, with panoramic views of the Channel and Folkestone. There will be space within for residential and visitor parking. Each property will offer a generous balcony and extensive terraces. This property will be the first seen from the Lower Leas Coastal Park and will be in keeping with the environment and ambiance of the park which will continue on to the Harbour and Seafront area.
the leas lift
The historic Leas Lift is a vital part of the Seafront Development as it provides a link from the shore line area to the Leas and town above the cliff. As a result, the Folkestone Harbour and Seafront Development Company has supported The Folkestone Leas Lift Company CIO in providing a significant financial contribution of £750,000. The FHSDC has also supported in supplying engineering and structural advice, and in helping write successful grant bids to National Lottery Heritage Fund, The Architectural Heritage Fund and Folkestone & Hythe District Council Heritage. There is still funding of £400,000 to be found to complete the works needed to open the lift.
This area, the square and public realm space, is considered vital for the future passengers of the lift. It is somewhere for them to wait for the lift, and welcome visitors to the seafront area. Designs have been developed in conjunction with The Folkestone Leas Lift Company CIO and
very much support their plans to create a sustainable lift operation that will be financially viable for many years to come.
homes built for 21st century
These properties in Plot A will not rely on fossil fuel to heat and power the dwellings. The air-source heat pumps and mechanical heat recovery ventilation system reduces the reliance on electrical heating. Each dwelling will have parking spaces equipped to power electrical vehicles, located below the building.
Architect James Denner from ACME: “The properties are build to minimise solar gain and maximise daylight. This means the properties won’t get too hot in the summer, nor lose heat during the winter. We won’t need to run cooling systems to maintain the right internal environment. The build itself is working on a sustainable strategy for construction and operationally carbon neutral, to net zero by 2050.
“Each part of the development has its own identity, but Plot A is a unique building within the masterplan. There are themes that are mirrored in the buildings; look at the curvatures and colourings of the materials used, but this certainly has it’s own identity.”
“This structure is 8 storeys high, as with Shoreline, but the elevation of the land is higher in this area, so the building appears taller. The roof-space will be planted in keeping with the shingle environment you see in other areas around the site. The planting is able to survive in these salty conditions. When you look down from The Leas this roof will appear a continuation of the beach.
“Parking is always a concern, and here we have incorporated parking for the dwellings underneath the building. The parking area near the Coastal Park will remain for public use. Access will be through the predominantly pedestrian square in front of the Leas Lifts.”
The detailed plans went forward for planning permission in the spring of 2022.