Local Green Space / Town Green Application

LOCAL GREEN SPACE COUNCIL DECISION

At a General Meeting of the council on Thursday 24th April 2014, councillors agreed almost unanimously to grant a large section of Whitstable beach Local Green Space designation. The vote called for West Beach, from the caravan park at Island Wall to the Harbour, to be designated a Local Green Space.

This means West Beach would be listed in CCC’s local plan as Local Green Space which would preserve the rights of access for all and make development on it unlikely. The proposal was approved at a meeting of the full council after a passionate speech from Ashley Clark. It was seconded by Tankerton councillor Jeanne Harrison, who said it was a fitting legacy of the hard work of WBC co-ordinator Nick Dewhirst, who died last year.

The beach will now be included as green space in the council’s local plan, a blueprint for development across the district.

See Local Green Space page.

WHITSTABLE BEACH TOWN GREEN INQUIRY UPDATE 12-03-18

The Whitstable Beach Town Green Public Inquiry concluded in December 2017 with the summings-up and final submissions from the Whitstable Beach Campaign.  We are awaiting the outcome of the Inspector’s findings and will update this web page when they are published.

The application was made on behalf of the people of Whitstable in 2013 to legitimize their right to access to the beach in perpetuity, irrespective of its private ownership.   Final submissions were heard from the only two parties opposing the application: Canterbury City Council & The Whitstable Oyster Fishery Company.    Witnesses previously gave evidence at two previous sessions of the Inquiry in May and October 2017 and the Inquirly lasted 19 days.

In the October 2017 session, Mr James Green of the WOFC gave as one of his reasons for opposing the right of people to carry out legal pastimes and pursuits on the beach, the possibility of organisms being brought onto the beach via the footfall of beach users, which would contaminate the oyster stocks of the WOFC. The Beach Campaign do not believe that there is any sound scientific basis or regulatory requirement to support this claim.

The WOFC told the Inquiry about their plans to build agricultural sheds on the beach near the Horsebridge to house grading machinery and equipment stores, the outcome being that the area from the Horsebridge to the Neptune, the most popular part of Whitstable Beach, would be excluded from public access. If the beach were awarded Town Green status this industrialisation of the beach and restriction of access would not be possible.

Due to recent changes in Village & Town Green legislation this might be the last chance to register our beach as a Town Green and safeguard people’s right to use it.

More information about the Town Green Application can be found on the What We Do page.

If you are interested in supporting the campaign and would like to complete a questionnaire, or to receive e-mail updates on our activities please contact the Whitstable Beach Campaign using the form on the Contact page.