Planning officers advised that the proposal for council-owned seafront land would provide a high-quality contemporary design. They also concluded that flood risk from waves overtopping the sea wall would be mitigated by broadening the promenade and building a one-metre-high splash wall. While recognising that the project would cause some harm to the setting of a schedule historic monument, they concluded that the scheme’s public benefits justified granted permission.
Mr Justice Dove conceded that the officers’ committee report could have been more crisply written and more clearly expressed. But he was satisfied that it adequately considered flood risk and heritage impacts and had equipped members with enough information to exercise their planning judgement. Councillors had in no way been misled, he held. He observed that while development plan policies seek to reconcile numerous interests, it is unusual to find any development proposal that is wholly in accord with every policy.
Martin v Folkestone and Hythe District Council
Date: 22 June 2020
Ref:  EWHC 1614 (Admin)