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Entries in The Downs (7)


Great news! The Downs on track to become a Village Green

Following a long public inquiry that finished earlier this year, the Inspector appointed by Kent County Council has recommended that most of the Downs should officially be registered as a village green.

It's been a long haul - we submitted the application to register the Downs as a village green on 1st September 2009.

We've spent hundreds of pounds and thousands of hours (literally!) publicising the application, writing to the press, building support, collecting questionnaires and witness statements, answering Canterbury City Council's objections, researching the historical and legal background of the Downs, gathering witnesses for the Inquiry, producing 474 pages of closely argued documentation to support our case, and working through the 8 days of the Public Inquiry itself.

Click to read more ...


Council refuses to back village green status bid

A campaign group will not have the backing of the council in its efforts to have The Downs in Herne Bay certified as a village green.

The Save Our Downs group has been urging the council to support the application, which if successful would mean that the area would be open to the public for free forever and that any development which takes place would have to be in the interests of the public.

A public inquiry is due to take place at the end of November to determine whether the 72-acre seafront area will be designated a village green. Kent County Council is the registration authority which will decide The Downs' fate, but Canterbury City Council owns the land and will not be backing village green status.

Click to read more ...


Drama on the foreshore

All sorts of noise and drama down by the Coastwatch Lookout this morning (31st July). It appears that a lady had fallen off her bike and injured her back or neck. This was right outside the Lookout, where the black and yellow barrier crosses the prom. The barrier was vertical by the time I got there, but it might have been moved by the ambulance crew who were already in attendance.

The Kent Air Ambulance arrived at about 8:30am and landed (parked? settled?) on the promenade just east of the Lookout. An impressively neat piece of parking it was, too - better than a lot of people can manage in their cars.

As it turned out, the injured lady cyclist (Dutch or Belgian?) was whisked away in the road ambulance, and the air ambulance returned to base. It looked like a well-executed rescue: congratulations to all involved, and hopefully a speedy recovery for the injured lady. To find out more about the Kent Air Ambulance, and make a welcome, much-needed and well-deserved donation, just click the logo:


Have your say about beach huts

Community groups are to have their say about plans for more beach huts in Herne Bay. Councillors agreed to ask for people's views about proposals to site extra huts at a range of locations, including two sites on the Downs.

But campaigners from the Friends of the Downs said the peace of the area would be spoilt by extra huts. And Gillian Reuby, councillor for Reculver, agreed. She said:

"The Downs are a place where people go walking in peaceful surroundings, to get away from the hubbub of the town. Putting beach huts here would threaten that."

Richard Griffiths, outdoor leisure manager for Canterbury City Council detailed potential locations but said some had already been scrapped because of planning, legal or engineering issues.

Comments should be sent to by July 4th, and a final decision on which sites to investigate further will be made by councillors on the ruling executive at the end of July. Before any more beach huts are built, planning permission would have to be granted and there would be more opportunity for public consultation.

HB Gazette 23rd Jun 2011


Daft huts

Campaigners have slated plans to put beach huts at the foot of the Downs as "daft and opportunistic". Phil Rose, founder of the Friends of the Downs, said:

"I thought this idea was dead in the water. This time officers are trying to put beach huts on the concrete rather than the slopes. But our concerns remain about vandalism. The Red Shelter was burned down."

The city council has marked the area as a low "priority 4" site, but notes the site was originally designed for beach huts. Mr Rose said:

"If the council puts beach huts there and we gain permission to register the site as a village green, they will be obliged by law to remove them again. It strikes me as a bit daft and opportunistic given the vociferous opposition they've faced."

HB Times 17th Jun 2011


Dangerous spike on the Downs

HB Times 28th Oct 2010


Dog severely injured by rusty metal stake

Owners warn of safety hazard at popular beauty spot

HB Times 14th Oct 2010