Westgate and Garlinge Action group invite residents to join Kent Day of Action protest against over-development

Harvest at the land in Shottendane that could be used for housing Photo Sarah Bowers

Westgate and Garlinge Action group will hold a walk and rally as part of a Kent Day of Action highlighting development in the county for houses, commercial property, new roads and solar parks.

The day of action on Sunday, November 28 has been arranged by campaign groups across Kent who say sharing ideas and experiences led to the realisation that the scale of development across the county’s green spaces, agricultural land and wildlife habitats was “truly shocking.”

To coordinate activity and show how much resistance there is against plans to concrete over the large parts of the county, a core group of campaigns have come together for a Day of Action Kent-wide.  It will be under the banner ‘Save Kent’s Green Spaces’

There are some 27 campaign groups taking part across Kent.

The Westgate and Garlinge Action Group was created at the beginning of this year to mobilise objections to a planning application for a huge 2,000 development of a ‘new town’  on farmland at the edge of town.

Millwood Designer Homes wants to create up to 2000 homes, including up to 100 Extra Care units, a care home, two form entry primary school, health centre and shops, cafes and restaurants on 237 acres which includes agricultural land either side of Minster Road.

The action group is fighting “the decimation of prime agricultural land,” for development at this site and others across the isle.

Members were recently instrumental in the rejection of a 450 home plan on farmland at Shottendane. This application has now gone to appeal.

A spokesperson for thee group said: “We are all affected by the many developments in the Thanet local plan so we want Birchington, Salmestone Ward, Minster, Cliffsend, everyone, to join in.

“For Thanet the Local Plan has 17140 houses and we estimate a loss of 700 hectares or 1730 acres of prime farmland to development.

“In addition to the implications for future food security, the developments will impact on the lives of people in Thanet: Southern Water is already regularly discharging sewage into our seas. We have a lack of GPS. We are facing a climate emergency locally , nationally and globally. Green space is important for biodiversity and wildlife and our mental health. This Rally is for anyone who wants to express their concerns.”

The group says:

 17,140 new houses will be built in Thanet by 2031.
 1,730 acres of our prime farmland will be covered in houses and associated roads.
 This means 24,000 additional cars on the roads and 41,136 people who need schools, doctors, and dentists.
 Thanet is already the second most densely populated in Kent and the most deprived local authority in Kent.
 Our sewerage infrastructure cannot cope now!
 One of our Margate GP surgeries already has 6,000 patients per doctor (national average is 2,038). It seems difficult to attract GPs to this area.
 Thanet is in an area of ‘serious water stress’ and 21% of our water supply already comes from elsewhere in Kent (Medway).
 By 2031 Thanet is forecast to have a shortfall in water demand of 4.31 million litres per day.
 Thanet will be a construction site for 15-20 years!

The Thanet rally will start at Westgate Community Centre in Lymington Road at 10.30am on November 28 and walk up Minster Road to view the fields that are the main development area for 2000 houses.

This is a peaceful protest rally; people are welcome to bring banners and wear something red to reflect the ‘Code Red’ for climate emergency and anger at decimation of farmland.

Any groups wishing to take part or requiring more information can email  [email protected]

A county wide campaign page can be found at https://www.facebook.com/Save-Kents-Green-Space-101640965665147

14 Comments

  1. Unfortunately, this resulted from the self defeating decision to reject the draft local plan that would have saw 2,500 houses go on Manston Airport.

    Councillors were warned of the consequences – more houses on our best greenfield sites and the airport’s still not going to happen. it’s way past time to get a grasp of reality and focus development on the brownfield sites like Manston before all our fields are gone.

    • Spot on, A Johnson.

      Not only will we never have a working airport, as it has never nor will ever be economically viable, but we will no longer have any farmland/green spaces.

      The Councillors are directly responsible and should hang their heads in shame. As for residents who want the airport, get real. I want to look like Chris Hemsworth and marry Dua Lipa… It isn’t going to happen. I say ‘marry’ Dua Lipa… 1 minute together should suffice. Not sure what I’d do with the over 45 seconds.

  2. 17,140 additional homes in the local plan. Whilst I’m not great at sums, I think this is more than the 3,700 that were proposed for Manston.
    Building on the Manston airport site will not fix this.

  3. I don’t think Manston airport can be blamed for housing plans in Capel, Lenham, Sittingbourne, Cranbrook and Benenden. This is clearly a huge problem all over the South East (if the government really want to “level up” the North then they need to build up there and persuade people to move!).

    • I dont think you southerners could cope living up north. You would have to say ‘morning’ to each other and talk !.

      But seriously anyone in a profession where the pay is the same across the country ( apart from London ) why live in the expansive SE ? If I was in the NHS, police, ambulance etc I wouldnt live around here.
      I would move back tomorrow if I could talk my missus going.

      • I’d gladly live in some of the friendlier places up north or in the Midlands if I didn’t have a decent place here (Matlock in Derbyshire is one town I have a lot of affection for), and as a writer it wouldn’t make any difference to my work… and, living in Birchington, we DO talk to each other!

        • Seriously though, there are some wonderful areas all over the country. Even Inverness right in the north of Scotland has its appeal.

  4. It is a pity that all this energy to ban the building of new homes cannot be used more positively. There is a desperate need for new homes, to replace old ones, and to cater to the increase in population since the boundaries were first created. Yes, it is unwise to build on land needed for food production, but there is a great deal of land which could be used without that. Travel up to London or even down to Dover and you will not see much housing from the train or car. I am sure that amongst all that unused land there are areas that can be used to ease the housing crisis. Let all groups get together and come up with solutions that are fair to all including all the different types of housing possible, remembering that we need to create communities and not housing.

  5. Manston keeps being mentioned, ok housing is needed but not at manston. There is so much green land already banked for housing. A new thanet train station is in progress. Manston will get its runway and share the rest of the site with a gigafactory.

    Others will disagree, others still want brexit reversed. Think future.

    Anyway local green land here is so cheap, its a developers dream.

    • Manston ex-airport is a brownfield site and should be used for a mixed-use development, like the one proposed by SHP and foolishly rejected by previous incarnations of TDC.

  6. Many members of these groups and their representative elected representatives also support Manston. I agree with their aims, of course Thanet should build on brownfield first, but this is what happens when an aviation obsessed council fudges a local plan in order to support the pet project of a vocal minority.

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