The fight for West Beach, Whitstable

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We have joined the campaign to stop the Whitstable Oyster Fishery Company from building a café on the unspoilt West Beach at Whitstable in Kent. The society has sent an objection to Canterbury City Council.

Whitstable beach from the site of the proposed development

Whitstable beach from the site of the proposed development

This is a lovely, unspoilt beach. The café will be an eyesore and will suburbanise it. It will interfere with the long, open and unbroken views of the coast which can be enjoyed from here.

Indeed, the beach is set to become access land adjoining the coastal trail, once the Marine and Coastal Access Act 2010 has been implemented, giving the public the legal right to walk over the whole area. And the building site is right next to the popular Saxon Shore Way, and would block a public footpath.

‘So there are many reasons why the planners should reject this application and we trust they will do so’, says Sally Newcombe, secretary of the Whitstable Beach Campaign. Read more here

‘Whitstable beach is a rare and wonderfully unspoilt town beach, enjoyed by local people and our many visitors all year round. Recently Canterbury City Council designated the beach as a “public open space” reflecting the wishes of local people to preserve it as a tranquil area for the enjoyment of all.

‘However, despite these various protections, the beach is privately owned and the owner now wishes to develop it for commercial gain. If the council agrees, the character of the beach will be lost for ever. It will mean the so-called protection stands for nothing.

‘This would be catastrophic for our beach. It would also be a salutary lesson to all who care about preserving our natural heritage at a time when commercial pressures can apparently take precedence over everything else,’ Sally concludes.

The Whitstable Beach Campaign is asking people to sign its online petition against the development.

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