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Whitstable Harbour Watch (WHW) represents the views of the people of Whitstable.


Hands OFF
OUR Harbour

Hands Off Our Harbour is the campaigning slogan of Whitstable Harbour Watch.

The Whitstable Harbour Watch Strategy

At the meeting in October 2007, the Harbour Board Chairman expressed “serious doubts” about the then current proposals for developing the South Quay of Whitstable Harbour, and asked the groups present to put forward alternative ideas. This is a precis the WHW response. We recognise the commitment of the Board to the long-term future of the Harbour, and we welcome this opportunity for dialogue.
WHW accepts the need for development on the South Quay. However, over the past few months many people, both residents of Whitstable and visitors have expressed their strong opposition to the developers' proposals put forward by Canterbury City Council (CCC) to redevelop the South Quay. A sensitive and imaginative consideration of what Whitstable is must take place before we can begin to think about what Whitstable can be.
Therefore, we are not making proposals for particular buildings or facilities at this stage. Instead, we propose that there should be an imaginative and comprehensive Strategic Development Review that considers the South Quay as a part of Whitstable and not apart from it. Only once such a Review has be completed, we believe, can a meaningful decision be made as to the redevelopment of the South Quay.
Instead of suggesting a number of particular buildings or facilities, we propose a series of values that we think are crucial to Whitstable, and which we feel should underpin the development process.

We believe that Whitstable should:

  • Celebrate its local distinctiveness.
  • Build on the traditional imagination and inventiveness of Whitstable.
  • Change things for the better, and not for the sake of change itself.
  • Develop a local culture in which environmental, social and economic sustainability are co-dependent, and not at odds with one another.
  • Support and develop the qualities that make the town world-famous, and not import the homogenous and formulaic from elsewhere.
  • Acknowledge its great diversity.
  • Support the local independent businesses that give the town its diverse character and resist the blandness of corporate chains.
  • Develop projects that benefit its residents and attract visitors, and do not consider one to the exclusion of the other.
  • Continue to develop and adapt over time, in a process of continuous renewal.
  • Commit to the effective use of all its resources — human, material and economic — to ensure maximum effect with minimum means.
  • Use technology to enhance the quality of life of people, not use people to enhance technology.

The groups which attended the October meeting represented most of the key stakeholders. We suggest that:

  • the Board builds on the October meeting to carry forward the participative process in a more formal setting;
  • a group be established comprising planners from the Council and Board and representatives from the interested groups, to work on a strategic planning brief for the South Quay.
WHW would certainly be willing to participate in such a group.

The full WHW Strategy Paper may be downloaded in MS Word format:
WHW Strategy Paper [156 kbyte] - - - - - - - - - [Print version 1.3 Mbyte]