The firm replaces Foster + Partners, whose masterplan was put on hold in August 2008 owing to the downturn

The development will mainly comprise residential units, but there will also be public and mixed-use buildings. The scheme will be judged by the public at a series of meetings and exhibitions this month and next.

Farrell said: “Now is the time to bring about the renaissance of Kent’s coastal towns. Thanks to the high-speed rail link connecting with Europe, Folkestone is less than an hour away from London, making it perfectly placed for growth.

Trevor Minter of the Folkestone Harbour Company, which commissioned the scheme, said: “The proposals will deliver significant benefits to the public realm and create an attractive seafront for the benefit of visitors. We are keen to receive feedback and people will have a chance to put forward their ideas for development of the public areas.”

Farrell’s firm has already been commissioned by Kent council to draw up a 20-year vision for the county including regeneration, transport, housing, landscape and economic growth. The proposals were presented at events around Kent in January.