Large turnout for meeting to discuss 115 homes plan on Minster arable land

The development application site in Minster Photo Sarah Bowers

By Sarah Bowers

Some 120 residents turned out to attend a Minster Parish Council meeting about plans for 115 homes on farmland to the north of Foxborough Lane.

The meeting was also attended by Cllr Reece Pugh, Cllr Abbi Smith, Cllr Derek Crow-Brown and Minster parish councillors, including Cllr Penny Gimes who led the meeting.

North Thanet MP Sir Roger Gale sent his apologies. He was invited but unable to attend. However, he stated that he fully supports residents and parish councillors’ objections to the application made by Gladman Developments.

The outline application is for 115 properties on arable land. It includes 30% affordable housing, structural planting and landscaping, formal and informal public open space and children’s play area, sustainable urban drainage, with main vehicular access point from Foxborough Lane, according to planning documents.

The site covers an area of approximately 5 hectares and is on an arable field on the eastern edge of Minster.

When the proposals were first revealed last year Minster Action Group was set up by residents opposed to the scheme.

Gladman Developments were invited to attend the public meeting but declined. They were also invited to engage the village in a community consultation but have declined to do so, firstly blaming Covid restrictions and more recently indicating that “village hall meetings do not provide an effective forum for constructive dialogue with the community”.

They have offered to hold closed meetings with the parish council who in turn have declined because councillors want residents to be invited.

Cllr Gimes introduced an outline of the application to the meeting and said the aim was to hear villagers’ views.

A notice board displayed the plans from the application and these are available to view in Minster library.

Cllr Gimes noted that the land in question is not in the Thanet Local Plan to 2031 – a blueprint for development – and applications have been rejected twice previously due to its open countryside location and major highways access issues.

She acknowledged a need for houses in Minster so villagers’ children would be able to buy houses but said they must be the right houses in the right place. With a development of 214 houses already approved west of Tothill Street, 36 being built on Monkton Road and a further site allocated for 36 houses south of Foxborough Lane, she said quite a large number of houses are already coming to the village.

Cllrs Smith and Pugh addressed the audience and both emphasised that grade 1 farmland should not be built on saying it was needed to grow food. Cllr Pugh also highlighted the school place issue because Minster primary is full and unable to expand. Children on the development west of Tothill Street are expected to attend a school at Manston Green but that is yet to be built. There are no school places in Minster for more children.

Lack of GPs, sewage and highways issues were also raised. Residents -coordinated by Minster Action Group- plan to carry out a traffic survey later this month to lend weight to their concerns.

All councillors encouraged residents to express their views on the application via the Thanet council’s planning portal or by post.

Caroline Fleming, of Minster Action Group, provided guidance about how to make those comments. She also invited residents to join a protest rally through the village on May 1, meeting at 10am by the children’s playground in the recreation area.


  1. Has TDC already recived a formal application or are the developers just pushing their luck to see how many rules they can break in one hit?

    Do any of these developers live locally? I’m just wondering how they expect people to eat properly if our local farmland is being gobbled up? Are they hoping we’ll be happy living on imported junk food?

  2. The Minster new build plans going ahead west of Tothill will cause major traffic problems as the road is already a nightmare. The plan details, mostly, are visions not practical commitments.
    Gladman are really Barratts so not local at all.
    “Affordable” housing we know is not affordable for local people.
    “Sustainable transport” seems to rely on some electric charging points, a picture of a bus (what route is this?) and the fact that people already walk and cycle. This is called greenwashing.
    Also, this is not a Minster issue, or one for Villages alone as it will negatively impact on all of East Thanet. We are an Island between the European mainland and this other island to the west of us. Let’s come together to reject this dangerous imposition.

  3. these companies will not be satisfied until all our farmland has been decimated with more houses that local people cannot afford. The traffic from lord of manor lights to Westwood area is already a big traffic jam going in and out of margate When are they going to change from all these properties going up to thinking of the impact from outsiders moving here,already shortage of GPs school places and water enough is enough

    • Read up about the Local Plan.
      That will tell you a) why we have to have 10,000’s of houses and
      b) why many of them are being built on Greenfield sites.

      • …and is there a local plan for growing food locally? or was human survival overlooked in the quest to redevelop every square foot of the Garden of England?

  4. Does the proposal confirm to the Local Plan?
    If the answer’s “Yes”, then you’re wasting your time.
    How many of these outraged Minster folk voted UKIP or Tory in the local elections?
    (I’ve just looked. Thanet Villages and Cliffsend & Pegwell Bay voted Tory/UKIP in the 2015 elections. The people who scuppered the original Local Plan. You get what you voted for.)

  5. Perhaps some villagers’ children wouldn’t mind being able to rent somewhere,without the sort of snobbish looking-down on renters that there is now.

  6. At this time arable farm land is required even more than ever with the war in the Ukraine there are very few crops being sown /planted and with no boats getting in or out of their ports there is or definitely will be a wheat shortage exasperated by the drought in Africa causing cereal crop shortage, some areas possibly all farmers are being asked to possibly think about what they are growing this year and ask what they could grow to help ease any certain crop shortages, we need to use more brown field sites for housing there is plenty of them throughout Kent and keep green field land for farming. There using to much of it in the westwood x area alone hundreds built and more than double that amount due to be built there alone. Thanet has changed so much in the last twenty years not much for the better!!!

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