New plans have been revealed for the empty Ship Street site in Folkestone.

A drawing showing public open spaces, urban townhouses with terraces and one-bedroom apartments has been released by Folkestone and Hythe District Council (FHDC) as part of their vision for the land.

Plans for the Ship Street site in Folkestone have been revealed. Photo: CHF Canada

They also want to add small shops and cafes, as well as a cultural space on the site of the former gasworks.

Pedestrian and cycle links between the port and Folkestone Central Station will also be developed as part of the project.

The council will hold a public consultation this month to give residents a preview of their proposal and to hear their feedback on the plans.

Cllr David Godfrey, FHDC Cabinet Member for Housing and Special Projects, said: “The artist’s sketch we released ahead of the event shows what an exciting future this 1.54 hectare site – parts of which are discontinued since the early 1960s – might look like like.

“It’s an opportunity to develop sustainable housing to meet the needs of modern life but also to enhance the whole neighborhood.

The site of the former Ship Street Gas Works
The site of the former Ship Street Gas Works
In 2019, an artistic project included models of possible land uses
In 2019, an artistic project included models of possible land uses

“It would be fantastic for as many people as possible to take a few minutes to come take a look and tell us what they think.”

The Folkestone Gas Company was founded by Ralph Thomas Brockman in 1842.

In the same year, the gasworks was built on the waterfront where Marine Crescent is today.

It moved to the larger site at Foorde Road and Ship Street in 1888 and has undergone many changes over the years.

It ceased operations as a gasworks in 1956, and demolition of the building took place in phases from 1960 to 2001, when the final structure was removed.

The empty land was used during the 2014 Triennale for an art space.

Green Light art project by Jyll Bradley, from the 2014 triennial art festival, on the Ship Street site.  Photo: Paul Amos
Green Light art project by Jyll Bradley, from the 2014 triennial art festival, on the Ship Street site. Photo: Paul Amos

In 2019, a Creative Folkestone art exhibition was held to show possible ideas for the future of the Ship Street plot.

Model ideas included building walkways over an open space, creating a children’s play area, or placing a ship on the land to explore.

Artists’ impressions of these ideas were published and displayed at the exhibition, which also included a history of the site.

FHDC bought the derelict site in 2019 for £500,000 from former owners National Grid and revealed plans to develop it with 85 homes last year.

The authority says their purchase means they will be “able to advance development and access any funding available for remediation work”.

The gasworks ceased operations in 1956 and has stood empty ever since
The gasworks ceased operations in 1956 and has stood empty ever since

The consultation will take place at the Quarterhouse, Mill Bay, Folkestone, CT20 1BN, on Thursday 24 March between 4pm and 7pm.

Anyone interested can drop in at any time during the three-hour session and it will be possible to comment on ideas for the site.

Click here for more information.