A public meeting will be held next week over Thanet council’s consultation on proposals to modify the Broadstairs and St. Peter’s Neighbourhood Plan modification.
The proposal from TDC would mean two green spaces being removed from the town council’s plan which had already approved by an independent examiner.
The town council says if the green spaces are removed from the plan they are at risk from development – especially the space in Reading Street at the entrance to the former Club Union Convalescent Home.
Taking the fight to Government
Last month the Town Council vowed to take its battle with Thanet council over the two ‘community green’ sites to government following legal advice.
Town councillors agreed to ask the Secretary of State to force Thanet District Council to hold a referendum on their Neighbourhood Plan.
The move was in response to Thanet council Cabinet members agreeing that two areas out of 18 proposed as Local Green Spaces in the town plan should be removed and that those changes should go out for a six week consultation.
Those areas were the corner of Rumfields/Fairfield Roads and the green spaces at the entrance to the old Club Union site in Reading Street
The Town Council says the sites were agreed after a rigorous approach recognised by the independent examiner and refuses to remove them.
One issue is that a planning application has been lodged for the old Club Union site which would mean moving the entrance across the proposed green space area.
According to a legal document from Town Legal LLP “the Town Council is frustrated by TDC’s inaction and suspect that the delay in progressing matters may be a deliberate stalling tactic to enable a pending planning application to be determined, which requires the Reading Street LGS for access purposes.”
Campaigns and planning rejections
The site has been put forward previously for town green status but has been delayed by planning applications which have twice been rejected on appeal.
Campaigners against the Club Union development include Mike and Brenda Boniface, the treasurer of the Club Union Action Group, and Jenny Matterface.
Jenny said: “Residents of Reading Street have known the green spaces at the entrance to the former Club Union Convalescent Home, (they are not grass verges), for decades and we have ample evidence of their use. A village green status application is currently with Kent County Council but cannot be dealt with while there is a live planning application.
“We know they have been used for carol-singing under the Christmas tree, for picnics, for bird and bat-watching. The memorial benches are well-used as a welcome resting spot for walkers, cyclists and for those on their way home after a day on Joss Bay beach. We now have a much-used post box in addition to the dog poo bin and planters maintained by the town council.”
If these green spaces aren’t protected as local green spaces, many residents feel an integral part of the village would be at risk.”
The public meeting will be held on Tuesday October 8 at 7.30pm in St.Andrew’s Community Hall, Reading Street,
There will be speakers and an opportunity to ask questions on this and the latest planning application for the site.
The Thanet council consultation runs until 5pm pn November 1. Find it here