Planning Inquiry over contentious 450 Shottendane homes plan due to take place this month

Houses are planned for farmland off Shottendane Road Photo Sarah Bowers

An inquiry to decide on an appeal over the refusal for a contentious application for 450 homes on agricultural land off Shottendane Road in Margate  will be held virtually from January 11.

The appeal will be a virtual public inquiry hosted by Thanet council. All participants will take part online, there will be no face to face meetings.

The appeal starts on Tuesday, January 11 at 10am and will last for 3-4 days. Anyone who wishes to address the inquiry must contact Thanet council by email planning.services@thanet.gov.uk to obtain details of how to join.

Anyone wishing to simply view the proceedings can followed it online on the council’s YouTube channel where it will be live-streamed.

The planning proposal by Gladman Developments Ltd was rejected by Thanet council three times – in April, June and then July of last year.

The proposal was initially sent back to the drawing board by councillors with the developer told the 10% affordable housing offer was inadequate. Thanet council’s Local Plan policy stipulates 30% affordable housing unless proved that this figure is unviable.

In June the application was rejected yet again by Thanet council’s planning committee due to an “insulting” affordable housing offer of 15%, flood risk, harm to wildlife and agricultural land and concerns at the inability to provide required health care for new residents.

In July it was again rejected on the grounds of an unacceptable percentage of affordable housing although councillors had raised numerous concerns including the lack of biodiversity surveys and mitigation, wildlife, the loss of farmland and the issue of greatly increased pressure on access to healthcare services.

However, council officers said there were “no cogent reasons” in planning policy to refuse on any basis other than the lack of affordable housing.

Gladman’s appealed to the Secretary of State against the refusal.

The Westgate & Garlinge Action Group (WAGAG) and Salmestone Ward Residents’ Association are fighting the appeal.

Farmland at Shottendane

Salmestone Ward Residents’ Association (SWRA) are playing an active part in the inquiry as a Rule 6 Party. This means that they have submitted evidence to the inspector and will be speaking at the inquiry.

The main reason for refusal  – the viability of the development and the amount of affordable housing – will be fully discussed and examined at the inquiry. New evidence will be presented and witnesses will be cross-examined.

Other concerns were raised and fully discussed at the three planning committee meetings. These included loss of biodiversity, lack of mitigation for farmland birds, a missing bird survey, loss of farmland, concerns about flooding and lack of adequate infrastructure (including lack of GPs and an overloaded sewage system). SWRA have ensured that these additional issues have not been forgotten, as has the Westgate and Garlinge Action Group (against Houses on Farmland) who have submitted a statement that they intend to read out at the inquiry.

The inspector has agreed to hold discussions about biodiversity and flooding.

SWRA has employed a planning consultant and an expert witness on financial viability. Biodiversity experts have also been consulted.

A crowdfunder to pay for the appeal has been launched by SWRA with a target of £5000. The response has so far reached just over £3000. A final push is underway to reach the target so there are sufficient funds to pay the experts who will also need to attend the inquiry.

A petition asking for the Shottendane Road farmland to be preserved has reached 5551 signatures and can be founf here – https://chng.it/x7ss27xx

The fundraiser for appeal battle costs can be found here – https://gofund.me/bc229bb9

Planning appeal reference APP/Z2260/21/3280446.

TDC planning reference OL/TH/20/0847

24 Comments

  1. There should be no further developments on the agriculture land in Thanet. Enough has already been passed through Planning at TDC. Alterations to the Local Plan, which was rushed through under pressure of the Government, need to be made to save our fields and farmland. A reversal needs to be put in place to make more woodland and biodiverse areas in Thanet which has been stripped bare in recent years under Council control for greedy developers. We must realise they are doing nobody in Thanet any favours, only outsiders.

    • We are stuffed with this particular Local Plan because of the actions of the then UKIP TDC administration, and the determined efforts of Birchington’s noble Burghers, to reserve Manston for aviation only use. Had they not messed about, obstructed and obfuscated, then an earlier LP, which allowed for only 11,000 new homes, would be in effect.

  2. Until the sewage issues we have around Thanet’s beaches and bathing areas are solved and financially invested in by Southern Water, to solve the annual spillage of sewage in to our seas and rivers in and around Thanet, no more new builds should be approved.
    If developers have an issue with this, they should take it up with Southern Water and not costing council tax payers money, with all these appeals to the Secretary of State.
    Also building £400K++ properties is not affordable housing to the local population, these homes are snapped up by private business and used as AirBnB’s and rented out at over inflated costs.

  3. It would not surprise me to see this development given the go ahead just as Gove has given the green light to the building of 900 houses on a large green field site at Herne bay, someone described it as a future slum, sound familiar? that estate will then be extended to join up with Birchington the whole of the North Kent coast will be one continuous housing estate Mark my words Government or builders will not be satisfied until every inch of Green land is built on joining us in the long run to London, we will have an S E post code but not London wages so it’s a lose lose situation more houses and still p..s poor wages.

  4. This government, this council are hell bent on destroying our agricultural land, wildlife, thereby contributing to the Isle’s flooding. Southern Water’s infrastructure is insufficient as we have continually witnessed. This build like others is driven by money and the residents will pay the price with localised flooding, pollution, loss of prime 1 agricultural land which should be used for growing food and over stretched GP services. If this is given the green light then all I can say is the whole system is loaded against common sense and doing right for the people of Thanet. The garden of England is seriously under threat from becoming a concrete jungle from avaricious developers and councils. It has to stop because the camel is loaded…..a case of the straw that broke the camel’s back!

  5. Sadly, the developer has not kept abreast of current events : as part of the Levelling Up Agenda the PM and the S of State have identified ‘overheating’ in the South East
    and we can hardly look to Southern Water at the present time to dampen that down. A moratorium on all large scale development of at least a quinquennium, probably two, is in order whilst the new owners of SW get their act together and revise CEO salaries and dividends somewhat. And it hardly seems sensible to plan for a burgeoning population when fertility has fallen and we have no decision as yet on a core potential economic catalysr (the Airport). No doubt the Local Planners are drastically revising from the foundations …

  6. We moved here in Birchington-on-sea from London for a peaceful living, and clean air,since we moved here they have built unknown amount of houses and taken loads of fields, when is this gonna stop, there is no work up here mostly retired people live here for a quiet life ,there’s also a massive amount of cars,that these roads was not built for, and once you have destroyed the countryside you can’t ever get it Back!! So think 0n…..

    • Thanet doesn’t have enough influential NIMBYs to keep urban expansion in check; you only have to visit areas like Wiltshire, North Yorkshire, Cotswolds, etc, to see the profound effect of organised defence against unwanted development.

      That leaves depressed, overpopulated areas like Thanet facing development onslaught due to civic indifference apathy and ignorance.

      DFL’s make the fatal mistake that coastal resorts are their white knights of retirement, only to see deprivation, low lives and blight.

      Perhaps now it’s not to late to return??

  7. Actually, one of the good things about not having a car is that you hardly ever think about cars. You don’t have to spend any money on a car, you don’t have to find a parking place every time you go anywhere in it, you don’t have the stress of driving- it’s great not having a car!

    • Considering you don’t think about cars you do an awful lot of talking about them and I have asked you why do you feel the need to reply to every one of my comments? and it was only yesterday I asked you for the frickin’ millionth time to stop you don’t do it to anyone else so why me? come on Marva speak up you’re not usually slow in speaking up your comment will go down well when I prosecute the a..se off you for harassment which you can’t deny because it’s on here for every one to see ta ta.

  8. As I don’t read all the articles on this e-paper, let alone all the comments by its readers, I have no idea what proportion of anybody’s comments I have replied to.

    When people reply , they usually want to put forward their own point of view. I don’t suppose anyone thinks “I’m going to harass somebody today by posting a comment on the Isle of Thanet News.” It wouldn’t even occur to me that anyone could consider replies to their comments as harassment.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.


*


This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.