153 modular homes development at Westwood Lodge is approved

Street scene image (L&G)

Plans for 153 ‘modular’ homes to be  created at the Westwood Lodge site in Poorhole Lane have been approved.

The application for access, appearance, landscaping, layout and scale of the development was discussed by councillors on the planning committee last night (May 19).

An initial proposal for the site had been rejected by Thanet council in August 2015 but was approved on appeal by the Planning Inspectorate in February 2017.

However, former developer applicant Places For People Homes Ltd pulled out of the scheme last year. During the second half of 2020 Rooksmead Residential Ltd agreed terms with L&G Modular Homes on a revised set of proposals.

L&G Modular Homes have made a series of amendments including moving new builds further away from the existing buildings and retaining more of the trees onsite. There have also been added habitat and biodiversity features as part of a ten year woodland plan.

Amended images for the development Image Woods Hardwick

Michael Dempsey, business development manager at L&G, told the meeting that there had been a ‘collaborative approach’ with officers to produce the amended project.

He said L&G was taking a ‘totally new approach to housebuilding’ with homes that were highly energy efficient and that reduced construction time on site.

The modular homes, which are built in Yorkshire, are made to the highest energy performance standard which, Mr Dempsey said, only 1% of homes reach.

The Westwood Lodge project is the third build by L&G in England with others in Yorkshire and Bristol.

He said: “We believe this excellent scheme respects the context and  respects biodiversity.”

The scheme will mean the removal of some trees, including some with preservation orders. The plans include replanting native species.

The Grade II listed main house of Westwood Lodge, built in 1864, the 17th Century cottage and the gate piers will remain intact on the site.

No formal boundary is proposed between the new development and Westwood Lodge. This will remain as existing, with the boundary formed by existing trees.

The listed entrance gates will be retained and opened up to pedestrian access along the carriage drive and a new access created.

An extra 2.89ha of woodland has been retained compared to the first proposal, wildlife corridors, wildflower areas, hedgehog highways, a pond and swift and bat boxes are also included. Planting will include cherry, conifer and Dutch Elm trees.

Image Orion

A survey at the site found seven species of bats recorded foraging/commuting within the site – predominately common and soprano pipistrelles.

During the meeting Broadstairs Independent councillor Ruth Bailey read a statement from Tree Warden Karen McKenzie saying that the family at Westwood Lodge were entitled to sell their land and with the outline permission already granted the best way forward was working together.

She added: “This landscape-led scheme could become a blueprint for how development could be delivered in the future.”

She said the 10 year woodland management plan would be monitored and also noted the development was “100% housing association led.”

Once on site construction is expected to take a matter of weeks. The scheme, which will include 30% affordable housing, will be mainly in the northern area of the 8.2 hectare site.

Homes will be two-storey and comprise of two, three and four-bed properties. 337 parking spaces have been provided,  2 spaces per dwelling and a further 31 visitor spaces

Concerns were raised by Cllr Mark Hopkinson that the site had been a ‘green wedge’ area – a designation that has now been removed – and protected trees were going to be felled. He sought assurances over the woodland plan monitoring and the ability to take enforcement action if required. Cllr Garner also raised the need for the woodland plan to be monitored closely but said he would have preferred the initial plan not to have been granted permission on appeal.

The committee voted overwhelmingly in favour of approving the application.

Last year the Thanet Trees group demonstrated, dressed as zombies, against tree clearance at the site. The site was thought to be a former medieval plague burial pit but a heritage study carried out as part of the application says this could not be confirmed.

Photo Frank Leppard

Yesterday protesters were also outside the council offices to show their anger at the felling of the Sycamore tree on a development site in Duke Street and to question what had become of plans for a community garden at the plot.

Campaigners are taking legal action over environmental ‘crimes’. They raise the concern that Thanet has just 4 % tree canopy cover.

They are being supported in legal action by Fight Planning Crimes, a new collective which will challenge the legalities of the felling.

The collective is represented by Paul Powlesland, an environmental lawyer who runs Lawyers for Nature.

A legal fees fundraiser can be found here

What are modular homes?

Modular homes are built from manufactured sections, known as modules. The modules are designed to fit seamlessly together and are manufactured off-site, transported to their development and then combined to form a finished property.

72 Comments

  1. Sad days for all these green spaces to be built on, why can’t they be open park land for all or just kept as green land. Houses not needed as all its for is London’s unwanted. Profit before commonsense

  2. I may be wrong but a few years ago it was stated that it was dangerous to dig in the area as it was a burial ground for victims of the 1660’s plague and the area could still be contaminated. I assume this has been investigated .

    • No, normal surveys are out of date and no ground penetrating radar has been taken of the area to confirm or deny a plague pit exists.
      Nothing can be done when planning in Thanet is so poor. Everything is passed as standard no matter the environment is being destroyed within an inch of it’s life in Thanet, the waste ground for the rest of England.

        • I absolutely will not “shut up”!
          Rather than the personal abuse, why not outline the reasons that you think the Council made the wrong decision?

          • I haven’t been on here for days and when I do comment your’e there read the comments against this site being built on TDC website people do not think it is needed or wanted the area is becoming overpopulated traffic is gridlocked every hour of the day the fumes are killing people but people like you who do not live in the area couldn’t care less this area is the only one in Thanet that does not have anywhere to go for peace and quiet no park nothing green at all and the only green space around is being destroyed it is a tragedy now leave me alone

          • Phyllis is right, all councils must approve a planning application, or show their legal reasons for not doing so! There is no reason to not approve this planning application, if there was the developer would appeal, and win! It seems to me this is dead ground, so should be recycled if it was used as a plague pit!

  3. Another sad day for Thanet and a snub towards our local environment and future generations. Tree cover in Thanet is particularly low, destruction of mature trees must stop NOW!

  4. There is no proof as yet of a burial ground. I hope that granting permission for these houses means that the council can now refuse permission for a similar number of houses on a greenfield site outside one of the Thanet towns or villages.

      • It would be interesting to know whether the use of the Westwood Lodge site for housing can in fact enable the council to reduce the size of a large development somewhere else in Thanet.

    • I’d prefer a 50-foot fibreglass statue of Barry Manilow with a sensor that when you walk past triggers ‘At The Copa’ at full blast.

      Come on TDC. Stop wasting our money on boring new bin trucks and get going on Baz.

    • Matthew what Thanet and a lot of its residents need is darned good dose of reality without trees green spaces and nature we are finished but by the time these people realise this they will be manure for a newbuild back garden denial is not really an option this

  5. Yet more green space being used for housing. Our councillors and MPs just give the nod to anything without a care for the environment. Plague pit not this is an important area for nature and wildlife. We need to use our voices and protest..drive these useless politicians out instead of them sitting on their well padded salaries and expenses.

        • I take it you don’t vote then. If so ,you have no input by proxy into what the council does, and that must be quite frustrating.

          • Not voting to some would be seen as paramount to spoiling a ballot but not wasting the time to go to the poll to do so. There is a reason why election turnout is poor, it’s because when all options are garbage, why make a choice.

            Regarding the story above, it’s more of the same. Screw the environment, screw nature, screw the habitats of others, more money and more housing which will go to (my opinion) scummy Londoners that will seek to turn Thanet further towards a Brixton away from Brixton.

  6. Last time TDC rejected this plan you mark my words this is the start of Margate joining up to Broadstairs now the green wedge has been disposed of meaning loss of more farmland but hey who gives a damn? I t is time for the people of this miserable place to stand up to TDC and say enough is enough no more houses on land that could provide food and habitats for out nature let alone the increase in fumes from extra cars and buses if we do not stand up and speak then we only have ourselves to blame for what will happen and future generations will have nothing thanks to us for some one at TDC must be on nice little earner to agree to all of this rubbish being built TDCs answer stuff you and what you think we will continue to ride roughshod over all of you and oh just remember to pay you taxes while we are doing it

    • The housing numbers have been allocated by the government, not by local councils. This site was private land and the local council could not have afforded to buy it. So any suggestions about its becoming a local nature reserve are, I’m afraid, just idealistic fantasy.

      • like many people these money grabbers disgust me,no concern for anyone but themselves hope it all goes tits up and yes Marva that is me being nasty just like you said I was now I have asked Phyllis to leave me alone and for the thousandth time I am asking you to leave me alone

        • Did I say you were “nasty”, Lesley Peeling? Yes .I think you are quite “nasty”. Not to mention curiously racist to the Welsh who have of course lived in these isles considerably longer than the English! Write a contentious comment and someone, not always me of course, will reply to it.

    • Reply to “Thanet Egg”. If by “scummy Londoners ” you are referring to the council tenants which some London boroughs rehouse in seaside accommodation, these are not likely to be moved to the new housing in Thanet or elsewhere, as London councils, like ours, cannot afford to buy newbuild.

  7. All of you leftie snowflakes that’re crying need to wake up and smell the coffee!

    The family that live in Westwood Lodge are entitled to sell their land. It’s their land, not your land, theirs! If they want to sell it, then they can. Nothing you can do.

    Now stop complaining and spamming comments.

    • Excuse me TheBox, don’t blame the lefties! It’s smug the right-wing nimbies that are against building house and for building airports. If the right-wing idiots had not killed SHP’s plans for Manston there’d be a lot less demand for housing in green belt areas.

    • BOX when it comes to wildlife and their habitats I will complain all I like when are people going to learn we as miserable humans, need places like this to survive and if the people that live in Westwood Lodge had looked after their property like most sensible homeowners do they would have had no need to sell off the land money money money.say no more

      • Correct Lesley.

        It’s money… their land, their money. They can do what they want, they have permission and they certainly don’t need yours or care what you and others think.

        Your missing the point, it’s *their* land.

        Now move on.

        • Box they do care what people think because one of them came to my door asking what we thought of the plans to destroy this green space I pointed them to TDC to get my answer and all the time places like this are being destroyed for people I will comment and fight it as best I can and I will not move on

  8. this house was built by a DFL and now look the area is turning in to an overcrowded area similar to parts of London the only thing is London has more trees than Thanet.

    • Oh for god’s sake, most of Ramsgate, Margate and Broadstairs were built by DFLs. Where do you think King George IV came from? All those beautiful Georgian and Victorian houses in Ramsgate and elsewhere were built by DFLs. How many people living in Thanet can claim ancestry back more than a couple of generations? Keith Bean, were you born here? Were your parents born here? Were their parents born here?

      Me, I was born in Birmingham, lived in Sussex, Surrey, Suffolk, now in Kent. It’s my home. Why should you tell me I’m not welcome?

      • Ramsgate Lover I could not care less about Ramsgate and by the way not that it is any of your business my whole family were born an bred in Thanet didn’t S S an S like you? is that why you moved to Kent? and I will tell you whatever I like, if you don’t like it why not try Devon or Cornwall although they are not too keen outsiders either

          • Oh, I’ve just re-read “Ramsgate Lover”‘s comment, so now I know” But Of course, Mr. Bean, it’s not usually because other people don’t like somebody that they move -it’s because of other reasons, eg work.

  9. It’s not (completely) the fault of TDC.
    Central government has said that Thanet must build about 17,000 houses. (It could get worse, if Boris’ new planning laws get approved). If TDC turned down a planning application for no good reason, it would simply be overturned by the Planning Inspectorate. If it happened too often, TDC would be put in special measures.
    We (collectively) voted for this government. We must enjoy the consequences.

  10. If I remember correctly, these new homes are not part of the DLP. When this particular Plan was started, it was discovered that various wildlife lodged there (nature) undisturbed for many years. Rare wildlife included.
    Now these pratts of developers are pushing ALL this aside. The homes will cost £350,000- £450,000 each… work it out peeps.
    Nature cannot fight against the hideous greed of a developer, and a corrupt and dysfuntional local Council.
    Time to get rid of a few senior Officers?

    • exactly Robster not exactly affordable are they? seems they do not understand climate emergency either liars as well as being thick what a combination to have running the council but on the other hand some might say it’s a perfect combination

  11. Think of all the extra Council Tax that will be coming in. Very bad Local Politics.
    The Government demanded the DLP, the developers challenged previous protest and Planning refusal in 2015-2016, by appeal to the Planning Inspectorate, and got it eventually passed last night. Crazy!!!

    • Robster I attended that appeal and it was an absolute farce no one from the public could hear what was being said because firstly the inspector sat at a desk with no mic and secondly the rep from the developer sat with his hands over his mouth mumbling to the inspector when the rep was challenged he turned nasty and as they say the rest is history when I complained about the inspectors behaviour the planning inspectorate insisted she had carried out her responsibility to the letter so when people like that stick together the little people have no chance

  12. It seems to me that there is a lot of hot air coming from all directions, I refer you to previous comments i have made elsewhere

  13. With a growing population, more homes are needed. To not build is to deny people a home. Good to see that the homes “will include 30% affordable housing”; impressed that the revised plan retains more of the existing woodland and new tree planting on such a scale; glad to see that low energy, environmentally focussed modular homes supplier has been selected; to encouraging other builders to also go in this direction. Homes for all people, as much green space as possible, minimal impact on the global environment; the council are to be commended. Thank you for listening.

    • Steve sod people and the growing population you are obviously another one that will not be affected by this development have you seen the new estates being built at Westwood hundreds of houses no green or open spaces and no trees that were promised in the plans and still this useless council believe all the tripe that comes from developers and to Marva do not bother commenting in fact what I would like is for you to climb Offas dyke back in to Wales

      • Lesley Peeling- There is simply no point in your making racist comments about me. We all have a right to comment on these matters.

  14. Our Government demands more housing, hence the DLP.TDC must abide or be fined. On the other hand, all other developments NOT within the DLP are private, and therefore should be refused, and should not allow an Appeal to go before the the Planning Inspectorate.
    Planning Inspectorate’s are all over Britain (not just England) so the have no idea how harmful the likes of 153 new homes placed on a mini nature reserve will upset this much needed “Green Wedge” of natural beauty. I’m sick of this system, it should NOT be allowed to happen.

  15. Council are a joke so many s-it holes in Thanet.
    And people that make effort they inforce action to change ie London road how can sh-t holes in Thanet turn to dust but people try improve there property just judged by old farts !

  16. I love that word affordable. That’s supposed to 20% below market value. Given the prices property sells for even with a discount it would still be out of reach to most people.

  17. It’s true that the now-notorious house in London Road was not attractive to start with but trying to bypass the planning regulations is the wrong thing to do. The council’s decision was made by “old farts” that the public voted for.

  18. Marva sod people if you are anything to go by, people make me sick in fact humans make me sick we kill animals for the fun of it kill each other because of religion and we kill the environment because most are too stupid to know better given the choice of mixing with people or not I’ll take not you Marva Rees are an unpleasant old lady at least I have a reason for being the way I am what’s your excuse? DO NOT BOTHER ME AGAIN see I can shout too ta ta

  19. My late mum told me,there will be a day when there will be no such things as a countryside forrest,it be all houses all cramped in and more cars,i dread to think about it.

  20. Whatever happened to DEMOCRACY? It seems to me that once voted “in” some people take that as a “carte blanche ” and is an entitlement to do whatever they desire , unless challenged! (Too big for their boots)

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