News from British and Canadian Conservatives

Thursday, November 09, 2006

New Tontine facility welcomed

A new performing arts and business centre, proposed by the Creative Foundation for the Robson Dunk site in Tontine Street has today been given the thumbs up by Folkestone Town Council. Despite some concern about the appearance of the new building, approval was given as most councillors considered that the benefits of the facility outweighed those concerns.

Councillors were less pleased with the proposals for the Benham building. I was disapppointed that the final proposals fell well short of the suggestions which had previously been displayed by the foundation at last year's Christmas party. The new cladding would have done nothing to reduce the ugliness of the building, but would have made it much more visually intrusive. The fact that it is in the middle of the road mean that it needs to either be a visually attractive focal point which complements the regency buildings in the conservation area to the south, or blend in somehow so that it is not the centre of attention. Unfortunately, these proposals fell well short of the mark, and reminded me of the great planning failure that is the block of flats in Clifton Crescent, on the Leas.

3 comments:

Anonymous said...

Dear Dan,

That's great news about the Dunk site. It's a shame to lose such a characterful building, but I think the end result will be worth it. The council should ensure that the CF do their very best to make sure that as many materials from the building are reclaimed - either by themselves or sold on to others. I love the Dunk building, but I will love a functional and safe street more. Tontine Street can be a pretty scary place in the evening. It's a place to zip through to get to somewhere else, and that's a shame.

The Benham building is a monstrosity. Now that's one building I wouldn't be sad to see bulldozed. As you say, it is in a focal point of the street and the space deserves something iconic there. Some imagination is needed. If there's no imagination, then please don't pass the plans. We don't want mediocrity in our town any more!

Anyway, the reason I visited your blog - do you know anything about the various rumours floating around that De Haan has done (finally!) a deal with Godden to buy the seafront land? If true I shall crack open the bubbly. It will really be very good news. And I hope that as I am cracking open the good wine, they are cracking on with the years of hard work to realise the plans.

Do you know anything about this news?

Anonymous said...

Dear Dan,

That's great news about the Dunk site. It's a shame to lose such a characterful building, but I think the end result will be worth it. The council should ensure that the CF do their very best to make sure that as many materials from the building are reclaimed - either by themselves or sold on to others. I love the Dunk building, but I will love a functional and safe street more. Tontine Street can be a pretty scary place in the evening. It's a place to zip through to get to somewhere else, and that's a shame.

The Benham building is a monstrosity. Now that's one building I wouldn't be sad to see bulldozed. As you say, it is in a focal point of the street and the space deserves something iconic there. Some imagination is needed. If there's no imagination, then please don't pass the plans. We don't want mediocrity in our town any more!

Anyway, the reason I visited your blog - do you know anything about the various rumours floating around that De Haan has done (finally!) a deal with Godden to buy the seafront land? If true I shall crack open the bubbly. It will really be very good news. And I hope that as I am cracking open the good wine, they are cracking on with the years of hard work to realise the plans.

Do you know anything about this news?

Dan Hassett said...

Thanks for your comment.

I don't know very much more than you about the rumours surrounding the Godden-De Haan deal. I understand that it's true that they have come to some kind of agreement, but that there are still some details to thrash out. In the meantime, I believe that there are clauses preventing the parties from discussing the matter publicly, so I think that we're going to have to wait a while before the full picture emerges. It's still likely to take some years before the seafront becomes the focal point that Folkestone needs, but some things are worth waiting for if the end result is the right one.