The developers behind a 1,650 home plan for farmland at Birchington are appealing to residents to get in touch if they have questions.
The development is earmarked to take place on land off the Canterbury Road and is proposed by Ptarmigan Land and Millwood Designer Homes.
It is an outline planning proposal to build 1,650 homes, a primary school, shops, a 70 bed care home and a community park.
Aims to develop the site are contained in the Thanet Local Plan a blueprint for housing, business and infrastructure on the isle up until 2031.
Birchington Parish Council has recently launched a leaflet, available at businesses in the village, to explain the proposal so people do not have to navigate their way through documents on Thanet council’s website.
In response Millwood and Ptarmigan say residents can find all the planning paperwork, with clear explanations and a non technical outline, on their website. Ptarmigan also says there is a dedicated phone number and email that can be used for any queries or requests.
Olly Buck, from Ptarmigan Land, said:“Since October 2019 through to the middle of 2020 we engaged thoroughly with Birchington residents and a multitude of other local stakeholders in order to hear their views.
“We appreciate how complicated the planning process is , especially for large applications, and that is why we have gone the extra mile to ensure our engagement was as inclusive, transparent and productive as possible. We were delighted with the level of participation in all our events over the last two years and the feedback really helped shape our final proposals.
“Our positive approach to engagement and transparency has not stopped following submission of our application to Thanet in December last year:
“To ensure the application is as accessible as possible, we have published all the relevant application documents on our website at: www.SouthWestBirchingtonOnSea.co.uk/planning-application/ .
“Each planning document has a short explanation of its purpose and they are organised in a user-friendly manner.
“We have provide a non-technical summary of The Environmental Statement, making it easier to read and understand.
“We have provided a link to Thanet’s website where the public can comment on our proposals.
“We would like to assist anyone interested in the proposals if they feel that anything requires further explanation or clarification so if you have any questions about the application or where to find specific information please contact us.
“Our dedicated phone line and email – published on the website – have remained operational throughout the pandemic and are manned during office hours. If for some reason the phone isn’t answered then please leave us a voice message with your contact details.”
Contact details are: 0800 232 1794 or info@SouthWestBirchingtonOnSea.co.uk
Birchington Parish Council says the planned development is such an important issue for the village that steps should be taken to better inform as many locals as possible through social media, social networks and more traditional print methods.
As part of the ‘Your Village, Your Voice, Your Say’ initiative the Parish Council has produced a short leaflet which sets out some key points from the planning application in easy to read language. The leaflet also explains how comments can be submitted during the consultation period. An eye-catching display dispenser has been designed so that the leaflet is easy to see and pick up.
Sixteen businesses in Birchington are supporting the initiative by having the leaflets and dispensers on display in their store.
The parish magazine, which includes an extensive article on the plans, is also being delivered to every home in the village.
A letter objecting to the plans has been sent to Thanet council by councillors George Kup (above) and Phil Fellows (below).
In it the Birchington representatives say there are questions over how an expanded medical centre and a school will be funded. They also say there are concerns over extra traffic and pollution and over who will maintain the green areas shown in the development proposal.
A petition was also raised by resident Gary Fowler questions why grade one land is being used when the development could instead incorporate grade 2 and 3 land further west.
Concerns over the increase in population, stretched medical services and the loss of countryside and paths have also been raised.