‘We have forgotten our coastline’ – ‘Plan Sea’ unveiled at KCC

Thanet coastline Photo Frank Leppard

By Local Democracy Reporter Ciaran Duggan

A long-term plan to make the most of Kent’s 350-mile coastline and the waters off it could be drawn up by KCC.

The council is considering formulating ‘Plan Sea’ – an in-depth strategy for Kent’s 350-mile coastline and the waters off it.

Food production, renewable energy and the boost to the economy of tourism were among the subjects listed as worthy of exploration in a report considered by county councillors last week.

Dover county councillor Trevor Bond (Con) said: “We worry about being the Garden of England, but I think we have forgotten the 350-mile coastline.”

His comments were made at KCC’s environment and transport committee meeting on Thursday (May 19).

The debate revolved around identifying and investigating the use of the coastline, key challenges for the coastal and marine environment and reviewing what has been done elsewhere in the UK.

Kent’s marine environment faces significant pressures, including warmer waters caused by climate change, coastal erosion, flooding, habitat loss and over exploitation of natural resources.

Preliminary discussions have been held between KCC and Kent Wildlife Trust about the potential to create a marine and coastal officer role to drive a plan forward.

Romney Marsh county councillor Tony Hills (Con), chairman of KCC’s flood risk committee, said: “I feel this groundswell amongst all organisations, who are waking up to environmental challenges.”

Canterbury county councillor Neil Baker (Con) added: “We are a county surrounded by a lot of coastline. I think this is a great development.”

However, some concerns were raised at the meeting over the lack of consideration concerning the impact of pollution on Kent’s waters.

For instance, Southern Water was last year fined a record £90 million for dumping billions of litres of raw sewage in north Kent.

KCC’s shadow cabinet member for environment, Cllr Barry Lewis (Lab), of Margate, said: “There is no mention of serial polluters Southern Water.

“How can we go forward with this when we have an organisation that (has been) destroying parts of the coastal environment, including Thanet?”


  1. A very good idea, which I hope that the councillors on the Isle of Thanet will heartily endorse. Where are their voices and the voices of the MPs of coastal constituencies?

  2. Great love what your trying to do.The problem Thanet has is litter.I have never seen so much litter at any seaside resort in the World.It looks apalling all year round and Ramsgate often looks like a Third World country.
    Until you get the basics right how can we expect to advance.Its not just tourists who pollute our coastline, its also the neglect and lack of creative ideas in TDC to deal with the problem.In my opinion TDC are the cause of pollution.

  3. A bit off topic but does anyone know why they stopped the coastal pathway at Westgate? They would only have to have done a bit more to join it up with Epple Bay.

      • Ah right, that doesn’t surprise me. Thanks for the link, very interesting how the local area used to look.

        Been trying to find an image of what that derelict building a bit further down used to look like. The one that is built into the rocks. I read that it was an artists studio. Surprised its not been renovated by someone after all this time, although probably too far gone now to make it worth it.

    • Agreed. On the concrete wall between Herne Bay and Whitstable, cycling also used to be banned in the summer months, but now there are signs that say cyclists should dismount if neccesary. A far more sensible idea, particularly on what is a National Cycle Trail. I guess keeping people fit and healthy is lower in TDC’s priorities.

  4. A sign at Botany Bay warning people there is a nudist beach would be nice foe tourist lol

  5. Do we not already have a perfectly good ‘Marine and Coastal Officer’ in Tony Childs at the Thanet Coastal Project? I believe he has been ‘waking up to the environmental challenges’ for the last 20 years!

    • Jokingly, Maybe his On Valium and having trouble rising for his slumber, certainly no5 sleeping beauty awaiting a kiss from a handsome royal lol…….😂. But, certainly not WOKE to anything in the job description.

  6. Not knowing Tony Childs TDCs coastal officer , but I think he should have more than an interesting amount of say into what is discharged into and onto our coastline by southern water I.e. sewerage.Please Mr. Child’s users what authority you have on this dilemma and LOOK after our coastline and your responsibility .I comment on this in a constructive manner and not derogatory way .

  7. A £90 million fine for SW didn’t change anything. Otherwise almost a year later we won’t be seeing news of that Southern Water dumps sewage at Folkestone and Whitstable beaches.

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