Residents and organisations in Folkestone are to be asked their views about the future use of the town’s East Cliff open space known as ‘Jock’s Pitch’.

Folkestone & Hythe District Council is to work with local community groups and hold a public consultation next year.

It will explore local preferences including how the existing facilities – tennis courts, a bowling green, pitch and putt course and putting green – can be best updated.

In particular, the council is looking to improve the play area for children and young people. The council’s Play Area Strategy 2020-2030 had identified Jock’s Pitch as a key play facility for the nearby Harbour ward where there is a lack of provision of modern, exciting and challenging equipment.

East Cliff is owned by the Folkestone Parks and Pleasure Grounds Charity and members of the council’s cabinet are trustees of the charity.

Mixed feelings

Funding sources for improvements had begun to be explored. As part of these discussions with stakeholders, ideas for possible future regeneration had been suggested which were met with a mix of support and opposition from the local community.

Cllr John Collier, F&HDC Cabinet Member for Property Management and Grounds Maintenance, said: “The facilities require modernisation and we must address the lack of play facilities for the Harbour ward.

“Maintaining the current facilities presents a considerable financial burden for the charity. To upgrade the facilities and ensure their ongoing maintenance we must, together with community groups, look at external funding options.

“Trustees have not committed to any work and a full public consultation to understand what the public wants to see will be held in 2022.”

By Ed

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