The city council’s plans to transform a key section of Herne Bay seafront took a major step forward yesterday (Monday 5 March) as it completed its £1.1 million purchase of the Tivoli site.
The property in Central Parade has been on the market for several years and is in a state of disrepair. It backs onto two council car parks and the area as a whole is referred to as Beach Street in the Herne Bay Area Action Plan. Regenerating it is a council priority, with the purchase of Tivoli being a vital part of the project.
Chairman of the council’s Regeneration and Property Committee, Cllr Ben Fitter-Harding, said: “The Beach Street development is part of our vision to improve the whole of Herne Bay seafront. We want, and will encourage, this to be done by private sector owners, but where the market is not delivering we will intervene to buy and bring about regeneration ourselves, through compulsory purchase if necessary.
“I’m very pleased that we have completed the purchase of the Tivoli site and can begin our exciting and ambitious plans for this area of the town. The transformation of this seafront eyesore is long overdue.
“There is now much to do behind the scenes as we head towards submitting a planning application, but our aim for a thriving new link between the seafront and the town centre is a considerable step closer today.”
The proposals involve the creation of an attractive new pedestrian route linking the town’s seafront and shopping streets, including a green space. There would be around 30 new homes, with approximately a third being affordable, and commercial space, providing new jobs.
It also opens up the opportunity for Wetherspoons to invest in the upper floors of their neighbouring property.
Now the purchase is complete, detailed plans will be put together, with a planning application for the development likely to be submitted later this year. Three residents of the existing flats in the Tivoli building have been helped with accommodation by the council.