Shock plans to dye Thanet beach pink
RESIDENTS have reacted with fury and horror over shock plans to dye a Broadstairs beach pink.
The town team, made up of Broadstairs campaigners, traders and councillors, submitted its bid for the Portas Pilot scheme yesterday.
Its central proposal to win a share of the £1 million Portas pot would see German dye used to turn Viking Bay into a flamingo pink "attraction".
The plans have sparked outrage from the traditional seaside town's conservationists.
Roger Fennings of the Thanet Coast Project said: "I'm furious. Speaking as the beach warden, I'm horrified that they are thinking of dying the beach pink.
"It should be golden to reflect the memories of the children and familes who come here."
Retired truck driver David Rudge, of Albion Road, who has lived in the town all his life, branded the proposal a violation of the sands.
"It's one of the best beaches in the country," he added. "Why mess with it?"
But Fiona Crawford, who runs Helter Skelter children's play centre and is part of the town team, said the radical move was needed to halt the decline of the town once favoured by Charles Dickens.
She said: "This is an opportunity to to make our town a real attraction. The idea came up during one of our town team meetings and we then found out that there is a German company that uses non-toxic dye - it's completely safe and not too expensive.
"We may even be able to change colours for special events."
The town team admitted it had dismissed one idea to cover Viking Bay with old shingle bought from Whitstable beach.
Malcolm Cox, Chairman of the Broadstairs chamber of commerce and a hairdresser, said: "The shingle was never a serious option, but dying is certainly something that we're looking at."
Twleve Portas Pilot towns will share a £1 million kitty to test the recommendations outlined in the Mary Portas High Street review, published in December.
The Broadstairs town team has asked residents and traders to contact them with their views about the proposal and other ideas in its bid. Email the team at Broadstairsteam@aol.com
By Max Evans