Back to drawing board for 450 Shottendane homes development after councillors refuse to back proposal

Farmland at Shottendane earmarked for housing development

An outline proposal for 450 homes on arable land in Margate will have to go back to the drawing board after councillors voted against moving forward due to concerns, including the lack of affordable housing.

The development, submitted by Gladman Developments Ltd, proposed to build the homes, a new distributor link road connecting Hartsdown Road, Shottendane Road and Manston Road, two new roundabouts, public children’s play areas and recreational routes.

The 19.53ha site is made up of two arable fields -Tyrells’s Top and Tyrell’s Bottom – either side of Shottendane Road. Wheat is cultivated on the land.

But, despite the land being allocated for housing in the Local Plan, seven of 13 councillors on the planning committee rejected the recommendation to defer the decision to officers. Another two councillors abstained with just four voting in favour.

Concerns were raised about the impact on medical services – with Thanet already suffering from a shortage of GPs and hospital staff – extra traffic despite planned road improvements and the building on agricultural land which is also at risk of flooding.

The main issue for councillors, however, was the reduction of affordable housing from 30% to just 10%.

Planning manager Iain Livingstone said the reduction was considered fair because of the cost and complexities involved with the site which resulted in an exclusion area to preserve archaeological finds, areas which would be green space because flood risk meant housing could not be built on those spaces and extra costs for the link road and junctions work. A viability assessment said the development would be at a ‘deficit’ if 30% affordable housing was demanded.

But Cllr Steve Albon said 10% affordable housing was “unacceptable” despite the explanation, adding: “It is clear policy for 30% affordable housing. If they can’t afford that then do not build the development.”

He also raised concerns  that traffic congestion would not be eased significantly around Coffin House Corner and said the use of arable land was something the council had “no choice” over due to government house building targets.

Cllr Pat Moore was blunt in her opinion that 10% affordable housing was not good enough and questioned why that housing comprised of 24 out of the 28 two-bed flats in the plan.

She added: This development is not for local people because no-one can afford them.” In response to Iain Livingstone’s comments that the site was already allocated in the Local Plan and the councillors were making a decision purely based on access she said: “If we have to agree or defer this to officers, why have we had to have this meeting? I won’t be voting for it, we are being taken for a ride.”

The plans had been called in by Salmestone ward councillor Candy Gregory and both she and fellow councillor Pauline Farrance spoke against the development saying an extra 450 homes would create far too much pressure on health services. A developer contribution of £338,000 to health bosses would still not attract medical staff to Thanet, they said.

Cllr Farrance said: “The Limes in Margate has approximately 5000 patients per GP, compared to a national average of 1800.  This proposed development, plus the other new 250 houses in Salmestone, is in The Limes catchment area. They say there will be 1080 new patients – based on an occupancy of only 2.4 people per dwelling?  The developers can contribute to an extension at the Limes.  But how are they going to recruit more doctors?!

“We should also remember that one of the main ‘arguments’ for taking the stroke unit away from Margate was that they were unable to recruit suitably qualified staff in Thanet, not to mention the fact that many other services are being removed from QEQM.

“We simply cannot agree to our population increasing overall by up to 50,000 people, without any more medical provision.  We must insist that the Kent and Medway CCG take action to address the shortage of GPs in Thanet, before any more housing developments can be agreed.”

Neither councillor was entitled to a vote as they are not planning committee members.

An objection submitted on behalf of the Westgate & Garlinge Action Group said the highways proposals carved up even more land belonging to a farmer who had not even been consulted over the plans.

Mr Livingstone said two reviews would take place during the development which could mean additional provision for off-site affordable housing being demanded at a later date. It was not enough to convince the committee.

The vote to defer the decision to planning officers to approve was rejected. Instead councillors voted in favour of the plan being brought back to committee after Gladman and Thanet council had agreed on alternatives proposals for affordable housing.

The vote

For – Keith Coleman-Cooke, Mick Tomlinson, Jill Bayford, George Rusiecki

Abstain -Alan Currie, John Dennis

Against – Steve Albon, Pat Moore, Mike Garner, David Hart, Paul Moore, Linda Wright, Matthew Scott

33 Comments

  1. H’m. The Council has two goes (at least) in getting a Local Plan in place.
    The Plan takes account if the number of houses that the government says TDC must build. It identifies where houses can (and cannot) be built.
    Then councillorsvote against their own Plan.
    Brilliant.

  2. Oh dear never mind the “poor” farmer will have to get his begging bowl out again. We need more doctors and dentist a lot more than we need more house’s spoiling and polluting the area and taking farm land.

    • Surely there must be areason that Doctors and Dentists choose not to work in thanet. Spend a week sitting in the waiting room at the Limes observing the behaviour and attitudes of some of those that go there and you might have an inkling why.
      The nhs has been offering some services via video calls , some people have been missing even those.
      Maybe if we had more decent housing it’d bring a new mix of residents and attract doctors and dentists to the area.
      Its almost laughable that a council unable to proivide its own social housing then whitters on about the private sector provision being insufficient, so they effectively expect owner occupiers of the other houses to not only subsidise a third of their neighbours but also have no idea as to the type of neighbour nigh on a third of them will be. Look at the junk and rubbish outside some of the new houses at westwood would you be pleased if you’d paid full price to live next door to such a property ?

      • These properties are not for the locals they wouldn’t be able to afford one, they are for people to relocate from London because its cheaper to live here, so local services which are already at breaking point just wouldn’t count, I don’t understand why there is a necessary to build 17000 new homes, honestly with the lack of investment the wages don’t pay enough for people to pay a mortgage. Development at Manston Village £349.000 absolutely disgusting

  3. The TDC local plan is not fit for purpose. It does not priritise and commit to brownfield first, but then again, this is also due to TDC. What a merry go round this is.

    If people knew brownfield was used first then perhaps they’d feel things were a little fairer and logical.

    Remember, the Stone Hill Park development committed significant funds to health and education and indeed, heritage aviation.

    I foresee another central government intervention…….

  4. Hoorah for councillors having the backbone at last to stick by their Affordable Homes policy and for putting Mr Livingstone in his place.
    Whilst I have little regard for TDC I find this rare event refreshing in that councillors are at last showing some realisation that it is their role to challenge officers rather than be chummy and simply nod thorugh every reommendation.

    • So you applaud a bunch that expect others to do what they’re incapable of? Whats the oft quoted line about socialism

      “Ok until you run out of other peoples money” or similar.

      TDC can’t even maintain its own housing stock and comply with long standing legislation properly , but can stand by and say to developers “ give away more cheap stuff”.

    • Iain Livingstone is out of touch with reality in Thanet. He is the person responsible for the management of his Planning department. The one who bulldozes ridiculous planning consents on Thanet and the consent to developers to fell our majestic protected trees all over resulting in almost the lowest tree coverage in the whole of the country. The man is a menace in his role.
      The Local Plan is flawed at the expense of keeping the airfield as aviation only. It needs to change and a reduction in homes being built on our arable farmlands. Thanet is being ruined by overcrowding without the services to cope as it is without thousands more homes being built here. And these developers always reduce the amount of affordable homes they will build after getting planning consents so cannot be trusted. The council needs to stand up to central government and state we cannot take anymore homes in this corner of Kent as it’s not viable. We need more health services, better services and infastructure to cope with what we already have.
      Nash road for example of cheapskate developing; a huge housing development is taking place but the road has only been widened where it has access to the new estate. The whole road needs widening not just a small section that acts like a funnel for traffic.

    • You know, I agreed with Blue Fox initially but then had a disturbing thought: if we’re right and Thanet doesn’t need these 17,140 homes imposed by HM Gov, maybe by insisting on 30%-affordable we’re playing into their hands, as the unsold homes will be, on average, higher quality (more expensive) if “10%” goes through: That way (as so many of these homes are sold on London Boroughs) London Boroughs won’t be able to afford so many and so the Thanet population doesn’t increase quite so much, house demand is therefore less, and house prices (for the locals) lower?

  5. It doesn’t matter what the council says. It will be appealed by the developer, a Government Inspector from Bristol will go through the motions and then pass it, and the Council will have to pick up the costs of the appeal. Happens every time.

    • Can I point out that the government set the % rate of affordable homes that should be built on every developement. If they force TDC to accept these revised plans they will be breaking their own rules.The down nside to this is that only 6 of them voted against it.

  6. Self-proclaimed ‘Mr Margate’, Mick Tomlinson once again demonstrating a) he doesn’t give a damn about Margate and b) shouldn’t be allowed anywhere near public office. The main is a self-serving liability.

  7. Why are the new homes due to be built on the new Haine road never mentioned ( not that I’ve seen anyway).
    After the houses the council have built nr coningham/Lancaster close they took a lot of parking away that has now badly affected Chichester road where now paths can’t be used without having to keep walking in the road. Patients have to pushed down one of the worst roads for holes, large stones, gravel to get into an ambulance and I dread the day a fire engine is needed. They already took the car park away to build 3 homes with driveways not caring what happened to cars that parked there. With the new ally being built as well that will be a faster way for newington to new homes I thing it will make the drugs and antisocial problems worse.

  8. At last our councillors have listened to their residents and have put what is best for the local area first, though we all know how the officers have their own agendas rather than working for the councillors best interests in the past. Surely now councillors should do the same with these ridiculous plans in Birchington and Westgate.

  9. The new road taking traffic away from Shottendene and onto Hartsdown Rd will surely create queues towards All Saints and then Canterbury Rd or more likely force more traffic down All Saints, to get into Margate. Not great for those living along those residential roads

  10. At last some people are listening although I live in Ramsgate now I lived near there and to build homes in an area which is known for flooding would be disgraceful, to anyone buying a House there would mean a really good rainfall or a period of rain would mean anyone not on the outskirts of site would have some form of flooding or problems with damp, insurance can you get it on an area prone to flooding? I doubt it. Strange how it’s turned down because of not having enough affordable housing, my councilor independent Northwood won’t get my vote as he voted for the build I know we need more houses but not on ground which is better for farmers than builders, on the basis of the land flooding alone it should not be built on,

  11. Yes, congratulations to the Councillors for standing up to the house-building companies and insisting that they build what the area requires, NOT what the house builders know will generate bigger returns.
    With the former Manston airfield site blocked from building houses, but the government putting the pressure on to build houses regardless of the actual local housing need, it is difficult to stand up for local residents.
    This reduction in the number of affordable housing units is a well-worn trick of the building companies who get Planning Permission in theory, based on 30% of affordable homes , including homes for rent being part of the mix, then, at the last moment, they plead poverty and say there are “reasons” why they can’t provide the cheaper homes that are needed. And they expect the local Councils to just roll over and surrender. Well, they didn’t on this occasion. Good for them!

  12. There needs to be no housing at all. Thanet is becoming a concrete jungle & no one has managed to prevent it. Its the future of the next generation to be surrounded by greyness if are not able to stop it.

  13. First on the plan should be the demolition of all the old rundown derelict streets and buildings that a are beyond repair, Thanet is full of ruins that could be replaced just take a walk around Cliftonville or Ramsgate nothing more than squats.

    • TDC had selective licensing in Cliftonville for 10 years, the designation expired this week, there’s not been a report of the scheme published since 2015, just another money making scheme that turned into farce when the failings of TDC in relation to its own management of gas and electrical safety came to light. But unlike private landlords when caught no hue a cry from councillors and court proceedings. Whats the betting that there has been nothing done on selective licensing this tax year for sake of convenience. The licence fees i paid achieved nothing for my tenants who i’m sure would have preferred the money spent on the properties instead.
      Some of the buildings in cliftonville are in a terrible state but council does little to force improvement, Julian Court in Edgar road has been rotting for nigh on 40 years, alledgedly has exposed asbestos in the balcony soffits, pigeons roost in the structure and it looks awful, all council has managed is for a bit of scaffolding and halfhearted removal of the bits that were collapsing.

  14. Have a drive around that area (and the whole Margate Road corridor into Newington and St Peters surrounds) from 2pm onwards . The traffic is carnage until 5pm . These housing projects will need proper roads to support them .

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