Broadstairs residents vow to fight plans for ‘out of place’ housing development

The Cliffside development proposal

Residents in Broadstairs say they will continue to fight against plans for development after the Planning Inspectorate overturned Thanet council’s refusal of a build in Cliffside Drive.

An outline application for 28 homes on land behind Holy Trinity School was lodged by Kent County Council in 2015.

Councillors on Thanet’s planning committee rejected the plans but KCC appealed and the Planning Inspectorate overturned the refusal in January this year.

A new application has since been submitted by current landowners Sunningdale House Developments for ‘reserved matters’ but Cliffside Drive residents say it bears no resemblance to the original plans.

David Stringer, who is leading a resident’s group working to oppose the development, said: “Plans are very different from papers reviewed by the Planning Inspectorate.

Cliffside homes

“The original plans for the new development showed 28 (3 to 5 bedroomed) 2-storey detached houses, which is an increase of 76% above our existing size. The revised plans are still for 28 houses, but include a number of semi-detached, including four 3-storey houses, plus four 2-bed houses. Ten of the 28 houses will now be ‘affordable homes’, managed by a national housing association.

“To have a vast mix of size and type of property and 3-storey semi’s disguised as two-storey, is hardly in keeping with this area.”

Proposed homes

Cliffside Drive has 37 homes which are all built in the same materials but the new plans move away from this scheme, are on land which was formerly in KCC ownership and so could have been used for the expansion of Holy Trinity school and will have unadopted roads.

Mr Stringer said the change in materials is inappropriate, adding: “It will be totally out of place in the existing area.  This, again, is nothing like the in-keeping picture painted for review by the Planning Inspectorate.”

School expansion will now have to take place on land opposite the site in Dumpton Park Drive.

The fresh application states: “The design follows the same principles as the pre-app scheme, with a more contemporary approach to materials and landscaping being taken.

The site

“This would avoid directly copying the existing 20 year old development at Cliffside Drive, in favour of a more contemporary yet complementary design which provides a natural extension to the development.”

The resident’s group is also worried about increased traffic. Mr Stringer said: “I firmly believe that access to this site through Cliffside Drive is both dangerous and inappropriate.  Robust steps should be taken to mitigate this ‘accident waiting to happen’. The ideal solution would be to compulsorily purchase a property on Dumpton Park Drive, to secure safe access to the new site.”

In application documents for the developer it states: “The use of rumble strips, narrowing of the road and changes in hard surfacing will provide traffic calming.”

A proposal to develop the site for houses was previously submitted in 2000 but withdrawn in 2001.

A decision on the application is expected to be made this month.