Are there any seaside towns safe from the developers and councils? A long article in today's Independent shows the threat currently faced by Whitstable - apparently in order to save the character of the world's oldest railway-built harbour, it is necessary to replace it with a superstore and, you guessed it, flats.
"Three multi-million-pound proposals have been supplied by developers. One envisages a mixture of holiday lets and a large supermarket, another foresees the replacement of the wooden shed currently hosting the fish market with a large glass and steel restaurant and the other, put forward by Kent brewer Shepherd Neame proposes a themed pub next to the cockle plant."
English Heritage are holding a conference this week on seaside heritage - 'Colourful Past, Bright Future': "we have lots of evidence to show that people and businesses flourish in places where local character and distinctiveness are being revived, often through physical renewal and reuse of historic buildings."
The key words here are DISTINCTIVENESS, RENEWAL and REUSE not DEMOLITION, DEVELOPMENT and DITHERING.
Margate, Ramsgate, Folkestone and Whitstable (amongst others) - their attraction? The historic nature of the architecture, seafront and harbours. The councils' solutions? Let the developers have their way. Aaaaaarrrrrrgh!