Wednesday, August 09, 2006

Ashford does the impossible

Can Thanet council get Westwood Cross developers to pay for road improvements?

I've been to a couple of local meetings attended by councillors and one even with Roger Gale MP for North Thanet, apart from the consistent pleading from us, the public, for better roads, we are told they haven't got the money and that it is not the responsibility of developers to fund road improvements, to make their developments viable or workable.

Now according to a news story, on the BBC News website the housing developer, Taylor Woodrow is to improve Junction 10 on the M 20 at Ashford and approach roads at a cost of £4.9 million. Now whilst Ashford Borough Council has said the funding is ''unprecedented'', it proves that you can get a developer to pay for the transport infrastructure to support their profitable venture.
Maybe Sandy Ezekiel could get on to his counterpart at Ashford council and asked them how they did it and then see if they can get the developers of the Westwood 1000 housing estate at Westwood Cross to divvy up the money to make their project workable.

Where's Stephen Ladyman When you need him?
Despite being a transport minister, roads Minister and local MP Stephen Ladyman (Thanet South), he has remained fairly quiet on the appalling congestion we have suffered since Westwood Cross opened. Now he is quoted as saying ''"I welcome this project, which will improve traffic flows and safety on this important road." (referring to Ashford) , now wouldn't it be great if he were to make the same announcement on developments at Westwood Cross then we'd all be happy.

As a local taxpayer I do not see why, it is my responsibility to pay for infrastructure to enable developers to make vast profits, therefore I would suggest if Ashford can get a fair payment from a developer, then so should Thanet.


  1. What traffic problem? A little bit of roundabout only is all that TDC feels necessary for developers to contrbute to outside of the site

  2. My Husband and I ( that sounds familiar!) have attended all three meetings at Manston, the site meeting last Friday and the Friends of the Earth meeting last night. I did actually speak to the man from Kent Highways at the site meeting (he came from Maidstone) and he said he wasn't aware before that traffic going to Westwood Cross itself isn't actually the problem but all the traffic going through Haine Road. Hurrah I thought! Now Mr Ezekiel might feel delighted with himself for getting the access road approved, but all that will do is let the traffic arrive in Haine Road quicker! I believe we should all protest more strongly to get the developers to sort out the roads and pay for them!!! They have build Westwood Cross, they have a Carillion sign on the back of the new buildings in Star Lane, they have plans in for developing the Wickes/Shoefayre site, surely money to make access more acceptable would be in their best interests. On another tack....... why oh why won't they answer the question as to why this site was chosen?

  3. I used to live 2 minutes walk away from Star Lane Stores, for 10 years.

    Residents are bringing up the Pearce Signs roundabout as the big pinch point, but I think theres something more critical than that...the proposed traffic lights at the Star Lane/Poorhole Lane/Ramsgate Road junction. You cannot possibly put it there. Its insane. The transport assessment also ignores the potential increase in problems at the already pressurised Victoria Lights and Coffin Corner junction. Add to it the proposed traffic lights on Ramsgate Road at the field next to the Pilgrims Hospice (150 houses to be built on the said field). The problems arent just in the immediate vicinity. Look at Westwood Road...

    I know the area very well. This housing development will make existing problems worse.

  4. lil weed- to be honest if you time your journey properly there is no problem at westwood I suggest about 4am not a bad time.

    Linda- I think opponents to this development have got to identify where local councilors stand on this issue and where for instance a local counsilor has a small majority and might be vunerable losing his position on the council.

    James I would just like to know why planners are so lax re these planning proposals, I'm aware that a planning application was turned down for access to a proposed supermarket in the late 1980's on the poor hole lane side of ramsgate road I would just like to know why the criteria has changed so much.

  5. If I can comment on your point to Linda, Salmestone Ward is up for grabs next year. As I understand it, neither sitting Councillor will be standing again. At least I cant see any point in them standing again. I can see you are definitely a voter in that ward. I used to live round the block from you. In fact if youve lived in that area for say longer than about 5 years, I used to deliver your local papers!

    As for planning system changes, it must be because of changing needs from the system. Im sure that the Local Plan as approved recently will look differently in say 20 years time, because the same rules wont be appropriate to needs. National guidelines will change as well, perhaps due to a change of government, bringing different priorities.

  6. James - I think you are possibly confusing me with my cousin, whom I believed lived in those parts for some time.

  7. Sorry my mistake. That comment was directed at Linda. Sorry for the confusion.