Original article from Kent Live
Most people would think that buying your own beach would cost millions.
And even more so if it has been deemed "suitable for development".
But Kingsdown Rifle Range has just been sold at auction for just £192,101.
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It had a guide price beforehand of £1.
It's a sign of just how ready the Ministry of Defence were to dispose of this particular asset, which has been rarely used and subject to significant complaint locally for a number of years.
But there is a much more compelling reason for wanting to sell it cheaply and quickly – coastal erosion.
This section of the Dover coastline seems to be the worst affected by it, increasingly in recent years as climate change takes hold.
Public bodies are pumping literally millions of pounds into coastal defences to protect seafront property in Deal, Walmer and Kingsdown.
Last year, another £831,000 was confirmed by Dover District Council for four new rock groynes, on top of £1.5 million the authority received from the Environment Agency for a five-year project.
And where the Ministry of Defence rifle range is located, things seems to be moving particularly quickly.
A huge section of the concrete sea wall has collapsed in recent years.
One of the two beaches on the site is completely covered at high tide.
MyDover understands that the site has been estimated to have a reasonable lifespan of around 15 years.
Which means that if it is "suitable for development" as claimed by the Ministry of Defence in the auction listing, it will have to happen quickly, and be accompanied by massive investment in yet more sea defences.
Meanwhile local residents appear to be concerned by news that it's been sold to a private buyer.
One has even written a message directed to the winning bidder and attached it to the site entrance.
It says: "Dear bidder 13 (and any employees)…
"May we respectfully point out that 1. Many who live and vote in Kingsdown, Walmer, Deal and around have publicly expressed great concern that this site was sold as "suitable for development".
"2. Many of us would much prefer this site to be left for wildlife, nature and the general public to enjoy.
"3. Many are aware of the SSSI status of the whole cliff/beach area between the golf club and the Zetland Arms and are keen for all SSSI and other protections to be fully enforced.
"Thank you for your kind consideration."
The auction listing describes it as a section of beach and waterfront land adjacent to the White Cliffs of Dover.
It says: "The property itself forms part of the Dover to Kingsdown Site of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI) and part of the Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty.
"The site comprises a narrow section of beach to the southern end that is covered by the sea during high tides. The northern part of the site is wider and includes a beach, some flat grassland and some sea defences.
"The property may suit some development in this area (subject to obtaining the necessary consents).
"The property is located in Kingsdown, Kent, a small village approximately 6.2 miles to the north east of Dover.
"The town is popular with seasonal tourists and forms part of the White Cliffs of Dover, the area therefore sees high footfall in the summer months.
"The property is accessed from Oldstairs Road and is bordered by Undercliffe road to the northern section. walmer and Kingsdown Golf Club is situated immediately to the west of the site alongside several high value cliffside residential properties."