Cabinet members will discuss various key aspects of the Princes Parade project next week.

The council says the scheme – which includes the provision of a new leisure centre, accessible open spaces, and housing at the site of the former municipal waste tip – has been making good progress behind the scenes.

A significant amount of ecological, planning, investigatory, contract tendering, and remediation work has taken place in the past 12 months.

Matters that will be discussed by cabinet from 5pm on Wednesday 26 January include:

  • The financial capital and revenue provision to complete the project. The cost of delivering the project now stands at £45,300,579 – an increase of around £16.5 million. This has been caused by a number of factors including the near 18-month delay caused by legal action, improved knowledge of the site, and inflation and the supply chain issues which all major projects are currently subject to. Prices have now been fixed so the cost to taxpayers will not go above this sum. This proposal will be put before full council for a final decision if approved.
  • Confirming the appointment of preferred build contractor BAM Construct to deliver the leisure centre, the realignment of Princes Parade and constriction of western car park, provision of a widened and traffic-free promenade, and the creation of a new linear park adjacent to the Royal Military Canal.
  • The appointment of preferred leisure centre operator Freedom Leisure on an initial 10-year contract, with an optional five-year extension at the discretion of the council. Freedom Leisure runs similar facilities in Ashford and Sandwich.
  • Additional funding to install solar cells on the leisure centre as part of the council’s green agenda.
  • The legally binding covenant to protect the scheme’s parkland and open space from any future development proposals.

The meeting will take place in the council chamber at the Civic Centre at 5pm on Wednesday 26 January. With the number of seats available in the public gallery limited, we would recommend people wanting to watch the meeting to do so via our live stream. You can find out more about this service here.

For more information about the Princes Parade scheme, visit

By Ed

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