Welcome to the third issue of the “Sandgate Business Forum”.
I hope that you’re enjoying the weather and that it is bringing in lots of new customers that have been visiting the area. However, not everyone who enjoys the weather are up to good – please be mindful that the hot weather is also seen as some as an opportunity to try and gain access to residential properties and business alike. When open, before leaving back doors and windows open please just take five minutes to ensure that these areas are covered in terms of security – can the openings be seen by you or your staff? Would you hear anyone entering? Also, when you close up for the day, check all windows and doors to ensure they are closed and secure and of course if you see anything suspicious then please call the police.
Parking Restrictions Throughout Sandgate
In my last update, I mentioned that there was no news… well there is now some news, sort of!
Over two months since the close of the official "consultation" on the proposed new parking controls throughout Sandgate, no decision on the proposals has been published by Shepway Council. This is despite the fact that Shepway received hundreds of objections from local and visitors alike to the proposals to ban parking for longer than 2 hours in those areas (between 8am-8pm every day of the year) to anyone not resident in those roads. Having said that, as of yesterday (Thursday 21st July) today, they are saying that there is no formal report written yet on the consultation and the proposals although they are due to hold a meeting with Saga to "discuss the implications of the CPZ with Saga". Unfortunately, Shepway Council declined to invite any Sandgate Councillors to that meeting so, once again, we are waiting to hear of an outcome.
As always, I will keep you informed of progress although should you have any comments that you would like me to take forward on your behalf then please do not hesitate to contact me via the details at the bottom of this update.
Military Road Resurfacing Works – just a reminder!
As advised in the June edition, Kent Highways are intending to resurface Military Road from its junction with Sandgate High Street to the junction with North Road starting on 8th August 2016. There should be local signage to advise on any closures, diversions or parking suspensions and other restrictions during the works. Should anything change I will keep you posted where possible.
Lorry Parking On The Esplanade
Of late, we have seen an increase on lorry parking overnight on the Esplanade. The drivers themselves have been seen using the beach as a toilet and generally adding to litter in the area. Following on from several complaints, the Esplanade has been included into the “Shepway Lorry Parking Ban Order” which, if it goes ahead, will “prohibit waiting (but not loading) by any large goods vehicle overnight and at weekends” along its entire length. If you have any questions concerning the order or require any further information you can contact Shepway District Council at the Civic Centre on Castle Hill Avenue or email email@example.com. Any objections should be raised by Monday 1st August.
Sandgate High Street – Commercial Area
We, the Parish Council, are passionate in keeping Sandgate’s High Street as a key commercial area with businesses of all types providing local services. However, over the years we have unfortunately seen many business premises being converted into residential dwellings despite the fact that there is a lot of commercial interest in the area. I agree that there are empty shops and premises currently but having spoken to either the landlords or the managing agents, most of them are either in the process of negotiations or have a high interest from businesses looking to move into the area.
However, there are some business premises that are applying for planning permission to convert to residential due to “no commercial interest” which just isn’t the case. In response to a recent objection from Sandgate Parish Council to the conversion of an existing High Street shop unit to a residential unit, Shepway's Planning Department commented that in areas such as Sandgate High Street "there is no policy requirement to keep ground floors as retail or business uses." In light of the recent businesses that have opened up, or are in the process of opening up, ROKA, Sandgate Trading, The new (rumoured) Deli at 104, The Boat House Kiosk, I find it incredible that Shepway fail to recognise Sandgate’s commercial area as important enough to be part of a retail policy that exists in both Folkestone and Hythe – can you image Sandgate without any businesses!
Family Fun Day
The annual Family Fun Day is due to take place on Sunday 7th August at the rec on Military Road from 11am to 5pm. There will be stalls, music, bouncy castles, workshops including kite making and circus skills and a dog competition (I’ll be honest I don’t have any more details of the dog competition but it sounds interesting!)
Entry to the fun day is free but parking may be an issue so please remember that Saga do offer their cap park – free of charge – over the weekend.
…. And finally – a quick reminder regarding the Sea and Food Festival
Sandgate Sea & Food Festival
As advised in my last update, the Annual Sea and Food Festival will take place over the August Bank Holiday weekend. The Sea & Food Festival attracts thousands of people to the village each year and is a fantastic opportunity to showcase Sandgate and all that it has to offer.
On the evening of Saturday 27th August (weather permitting) there will be a spectacular beach fireworks display, with a likely start time of around 9pm.
On Sunday 28th August will be the main Sea & Food Festival, with food, craft and other business stalls in the Granville Parade market, and Arts and Crafts Fair in the Chichester Hall, bands, entertainment, beach games and more.
Whilst the market and much of the entertainment is on the sea wall, we want to see the Sea & Food Festival spread throughout Sandgate to draw new visitors and customers to the High Street, promote our businesses and broaden the Festival.
Please remember that parking in the area may be an issue and the roads in the immediate area will be closed.
That’s about it from me, once again I would like to thank you for taking the time to read this update and I hope that you have found it useful. This email / blog is intended to provide information, advice and general communication so if you have anything that you would like information on or even if you just wish to let other businesses know what’s happening with your business then please contact me. My email address is firstname.lastname@example.org and my telephone number is 07896 106137.
Councillor Kurt Stephens