An application for 250 homes on Nash Road by St Gregory’s school and Salmestone Grange will be discussed by Thanet council planning committee members on Wednesday (August 16).
Piper Developments Ltd wants to build 45 x 1 and 2 bed apartments, 65 x 2 bed 110 x 3 bed and 30 x 4 bed homes. 75 of the properties will be “affordable” homes.
The application also outlines road changes with the:
* Provision of new link road between Nash Road and Manston Road, with new roundabout on Manston Road for access into the site (and new service road for properties on Manston Road) and alteration to Nash Road to bring road directly through the site.
* Closure of Nash Road arm of Coffin House Corner, meaning Nash Road only links to Empire Terrace and not junction with Shottendane and Hartsdown Road, with changes to signalling.
* Change in road layout at Manston Road/Shottendane Road junction.
In a design statement Hume Planning Consultancy lays out proposals for the link road, associated parking, public open space and access and pedestrian/cycleway links on land to the east of Manston Road and south of Nash Road.
The “link road” will be between Manston Road and Nash Road and the proposals include 450 parking spaces, 50 visitor spaces and additional layby provision and parking for the school drop off/pickups plus footways from Nash Road to a new school entrance.
In the design document, it states: “The existing school access to Manston Road would be gated and only available for staff and service vehicles. This would provide for some 12 parking spaces and some 11 layby/pull in spaces in the immediate locality of the new school entrance served off a mini circulatory route within the road estate with a short connection back to the new main link road between Manston Road and Nash Road.”
Hume adds: “The link between Nash Road and Manston Road will result in the western section of Nash Road being “closed off” as a through route. The benefits this will achieve for the operation of the Coffin House Corner traffic lights is significant and this will also allow safer connectivity to the school from the school catchment area to the north of Nash Road which could help to encourage more walking and cycling by parents and children. The “closed off” section of the highway could also be used as an alternative dropping off area which would not cause disruption to the highway network given that this highway in the future would not be a through route.”
The development would be adjacent to the Grade II* listed Salmestone Grange, which is a Scheduled Ancient Monument.
Hume says the site lay out would preserve the limited view from the south east and the view from Nash Road would be kept permanently open. Trees would create a buffer zone.
But the proposals have provoked 27 letters of objection to Thanet council. Among those against the plans are Manston Parish Council, which says: ““The density of planning is too high for this area and the already congested roads will make this a no go area. A further roundabout near the crematorium/tip will cause tailbacks to the Shottendane junction. Shottendane Road should be the main road and the idea of making Manston Road the major Road will cause gridlock at the museum junction.”
Margate Civic Society has also objected, stating there are “substantial shortfalls in the related infrastructural proposals relating predominantly to roads, schooling, shopping facilities, doctors’ and dentists’ surgeries.”
The society adds: “We highlight in particular perceived serious shortcomings within the proposal relating to the closure of Nash Road and the re-routing of all traffic through the proposed new estate, culminating on a roundabout at the junction with Manston Road – a surefire recipe for traffic chaos, particularly at times when the tip is experiencing heavy use.”
Craig Solly, from the Birchington Local Plan Group, said: “The proposal to build a roundabout at Manston Road and the changes to Coffin Corner will mean more traffic will come through this route to Margate in the long term with no further scope to improve.
“There is an issue of £30 million to expand the existing Shottendane Road, and the funding is still very unclear on this. If this application is accepted it is putting the cart before the horse and could cause more traffic problems in North Thanet, much as we currently see in South Thanet.
“I support the local view of residents, who already have issues with traffic in the area, and they are unconvinced this will improve anything. In fact there is more cause for concern in regards to light pollution (with car headlamps swinging across properties) and air pollution, as well as an unresolved issue in the application which needs extra funding for water sewage.
“Thanet’s highways are still waiting for a public consultation as it is within the local plan which has not been adopted. It is undemocratic to continue with council plans without the wishes of local people to have their say on the future of housing and highways.”
Kent County Council says the proposal is “acceptable.”
If the plans get permission Piper Developments will have to make contributions of:
£ 831,000 towards primary school provision at St.Gregory’s RC School
£1,323,826 towards phase 1 of a free secondary school provision in Thanet
£5156.77 towards portable equipment for new learners in Margate
£14,860 towards the refurbishment of the Quarterdeck Youth Club in Margate.
£12,003.95towards library provision in Margate,
£102,000 towards the Special Protection Area
£15,000 towards the provision of two bus stops and shelters within the proposed link road through the site.
Off-site highways works
3 Wheelchair Adaptable Homes delivered as part of the on-site affordable housing
Super Fast Fibre Optic Broadband secured via an informative.
A planning officer report to councillors suggests the site should be approved, saying: “The provision of 250 dwellings would make a significant contribution to the District’s housing supply, supporting economic and social dimensions of sustainable development, with employment provided through construction. All requests for social contributions towards education and social care have been agreed by the applicant, and 30% on-site affordable housing. This attaches significant weight in favour of the application due to these social and economic benefits.”
Councillors have been advised to defer and delegate the application to planning officers for approval.