Broadstairs residents create campaign group to fight housing development on agricultural land

Proposals to develop farmland have been submitted Image AAH Planning Consultants

Broadstairs and St Peter’s residents have set up a campaign group to fight proposals for development in the Reading Street Road area.

An outline application has been submitted to build 74 homes on 5.06 hectares of agricultural land to the north of Reading Street Road and west of Convent Road.

The land, which is in a Green Wedge area and is in farming use, is being proposed for development by Land Allocations Ltd.

If approved it will mean some 116 new properties within less than a quarter of a mile of each other, with the other approved developments being 18 flats at the Kingsgate College site and 24 homes at the Club Union site in Reading Street.

Documents produced for the applicant by AAH Planning Consultants say: “The proposal will offer a high-quality development, contributing a mix of housing stock to the existing settlement in a manner that would complement and enhance the character and setting of the local area, whilst remaining compatible with the surrounding land uses.

Image AAH Planning Consultants

“In particular, the proposal is considered to provide a number of opportunities afforded by the site location. These include the contribution to the expansion of Broadstairs and St Peter’s through the introduction of much-needed residential properties in a sustainable location which responds to whilst contributing and enhancing the local built character and improving the ecological value of the site.”

Access to the site is proposed to be from Convent Road. Details of the properties are not yet submitted as the application is outline only. If accepted a fuller, more detailed plan would be submitted.

Residents have formed a Fight the Reading Street Road Development! group and say the scheme should be refused.

Resident and former councillor Jenny Matterface said on behalf of the group: “Residents are up in arms over an outline planning application on prime farmland between Reading Street Road, Beacon Road and Convent for up to 74 houses.

“This site is in the Green Wedge and does not fulfil the criteria for permission to be given.

“One access to the site from Convent Road will add further traffic congestion along these already busy roads.

“The approved schemes for Kingsgate College and the Club Union site with this extra location means over 100 houses could be built very close to each other.

“Reading Street is regularly gridlocked. Beacon Road is always busy and Reading Street Road is used as a rat run between Cliftonville and Broadstairs.

“An additional concern is the lack of pavements in the area putting pedestrians at risk. This scheme should be refused.”

A number of objections to the development have been lodged with Thanet council with one saying it would be “a travesty” to allow it to go ahead.

A decision is yet to be made on the plans which can be viewed on Thanet council’s planning portal, reference OL/TH/21/0941