External work on the new south quay shed is nearing completion Photo: Canterbury City Council

As external work to the new south quay shed at Whitstable Harbour nears completion, the city council will begin the internal fit out of the building in early 2021.

A key part of this involves the installation of a new drainage system. For this to be done safely, a five-day closure of Harbour Street, between Cromwell Road and the western entrance to the harbour, will take place from Monday 21 January.

This is needed because the mains drainage system is around three metres below Harbour Street and traffic is not allowed to pass an excavation of this depth.

The refurbishment of the south quay shed into a vibrant new community space with units for local and creative start up businesses, restaurants and cafes is progressing well despite inevitable Covid-related challenges and the venue will be opening later next year.

Chairman of the Whitstable Harbour Board, Cllr Neil Baker, said: “Nobody likes a road closure, but it is the only safe option when you consider the depth of the existing sewer and the narrowness of the road. If there was ever a time to do it, then it’s probably late January, when disruption will be at a minimum.

“We know there is a lot of interest in the town about the shed project and it’s good to see it continuing to take shape. It will be a very welcome addition to the offer along the south quay.”

A diversion route will be signposted. Some parking restrictions may be applied at pinch points along the route to avoid traffic congestion. Pedestrian access will be available at all times via the south side of Harbour Street and access to shops, businesses and properties will be maintained throughout.

Letters are also being sent to homes on the diversion route and to local businesses.

By Ed