Saturday, July 14, 2007

Local plan and the case of the duel standards ?

Some news, makes you think, whether our council is all hogwash and duel standards. Now I may be mistaken but what was the most compelling reason for the Tories, pushing through consent for the hideous development of the new Westwood housing estate? Good taste, a pressing need for more traffic congestion, just so that profiteering developers, could turn the sweet smell of cauliflowers, into the even more coveted whiff of money. It was none of those, no, they had to agree, despite universal condemnation of joe public because the little known local plan, suggested that housing was required.

I personally don't think Thanet needs to plough up vast acres of farm land to satisfy developers, however it seems that the planning authorities are nothing if not inconsistent. Case in point Thanet councils odd decision to refuse a planning application for 100 houses at Minster, in this case they have refused because of a lack of information from the developer. Well as far a I know details are not entirely clear as what's happening with Westwood, for instance they may or may not build a school or provide retail space etc.

It will be interesting to see how our friends from Reading are treated with there application for a another housing estate at the Dreamland site, I expect our planning functionaries to bend over.

Roger Latchford is quoted thus “Our planning officers look very carefully at every application that the Council receives before making a decision. As this shows, if they do not feel that adequate information has been provided by the applicant, then they will refuse it. The problem here was not the proposed use of the site, as it has already been designated for housing in the Local Plan, but the layout proposed and the lack of information and justification provided with this application.”

I think we had some pretty vague information as to the final number of houses being built at Westwood, concerns as far as the local water supply and quite inadequate transport so this is the question, what's different about Minster? This is one for Roger Latchford.


  1. Tony,

    The consent for Westwood is outline, A full , detailed application has not yet been received.

    Minster already has outline consent (ie, the principle is accepted by Central Govt). The application refused by officers, not members, was a detailed consent.(ie, the plans did not meet the requirements of planning guidelines, and or the highways authority etc)

    I hope this clarifies the position


  2. The message that the main leisure facilities in our leisure towns i.e. Dreamland Pleasurama Lido Etc. are every bit as important as our arts, theatres, libraries Etc. seems impossible to get through to our local council.

    Allowing planning permission for anything other than traditional seaside leisure facilities and therefore stopping the tourist business dead means that the bed and breakfast accommodation is immediately filled with other areas social problems.

    There is a relationship between the council and some developers that defies normal understanding in my ongoing struggle to find out the situation with the Pleasurama site I have recently discovered that the only plans that have actually been passed are those for a building that is bigger on the inside than on the outside. Details at I am hoping someone will clarify the situation.

    Having gone to Margate the other day to see how bad the situation is I was appalled, my wife an ex resident was extremely upset, I can only recommend that you push the council hard for temporary use of the Dreamland site for a funfair something we have achieved in Ramsgate for the Pleasurama site admittedly after seven years.

    On a more cheerful note I have published on the internet an humorous antiquarian guide to Margate available free at in the hope it will offer you some cheer.

  3. Agree Michael, Margate to be sucessfully regenerated also needs leasure facilities such as Dreamland, and a vibrant High street,doing up the Old town, and building a new arts centre will not do this. It needs to be more varied than this. The High St consists of empty shops and a large town like Margate needs a vibrant High street, the high street has alot of character and is attractive. Encouraging shoppers/tourists back etc, this then feeds to people visiting the Old town etc whichs remains empty of people..The council/seeda have spend money on buying the M&S building for a reported 4mill, this money would have been better spent on subsidising rates/rent for new shops to open etc. Guess also the landlords of the empty shops are also suffering so still want the maximum rent when a new tenant comes along and are charging unecomomic rents to the existing tenants who are also suffering due to downturn of shoppers etc a downward spiral. On visiting Margate it is still unbelievable that all this happens on the doorstep of the council offices in the centre, is there nobody there that notices? Maybe they are too busy admiring the plastic flowers in the hanging baskets on the other side of the road. Maybe they don't shop in Margate,as they can drive their cars from their free carparking to do some shopping at Westwood.