Kentish Trader is committed to opposing giant supermarkets and promoting local producers and authentic independant business. Ironically, it has been proposed that the heart of our efforts at the successful new South Quay Market in Whitstable Harbour, will be replaced by a supermarket.
Canterbury City Council and the Whitstable Harbour Board have asked three developers to submit schemes for the redevelopment of all, or parts, of the South Quay. Their aim is to develop Whitstable Harbour as a "thriving and successful port for the benefit of stakeholders and the local community".
The developers are Allied Land plc, Olympian Homes Ltd and Shepherd Neame Ltd. One of the proposals actually sites a large rectangular concrete supermarket on the quayside and arguably, only the Shepherd Neame proposal seems to indicate that the developers have ever visited the harbour. The other two proposals might be better suited to Dubai or for a new resort for a dictator in South America.
Many people visit Whitstable Harbour and the South Quay Market because there are very few places left in England that are quirky, authentic and genuine. The fishing boats are real, the products are local from real people and the fish market smells of fish.
While we have no objection to re-development and improvement of the harbour, please don't let it become another ubiquitous retail zone with flats occupied by lost souls monitoring the price of their property investment.
In our view, this would not only be a tragic betrayal of a proud marine heritage but it would be commercially inept.