Planning application for houses on Broadstairs memorial tree site submitted prior to second sale at auction

Chestnut Drive plot Photo Sue Wall

An application to build two houses has been made for a green plot of land in Broadstairs which was auctioned by Taylor Wimpey homes last month and has been sold again at auction today (December 8).

The plot is one of two auctioned despite the sale initially being halted following a plea from residents, a councillor and the town tree warden who want both sites preserved as green space.

The housebuilder had put one 9,417 sq ft plot by The Silvers/The Hawthorns and another 10,046 sq ft plot off Chestnut Drive up for auction. Both plots had a guide price of £15,000 for the freehold.

At auction last month the Chestnut Drive plot sold for £28,000 while the green space at The Silvers brought in a whopping £52,000.

The green space plots in Broadstairs

However, the Chestnut Drive plot reappeared at auction by McHugh & Co estate agents today, with the speculative planning application listed in the details. Bidding closed with the plot selling for £32,000.

The plots were originally withdrawn from sale in May with a pledge by the housebuilder company to engage with residents about future plans. But the sites were then relisted with Allsop auctioneers.

Both plots, which are on the estate built by Wimpey in 1972, are marked as Green Space in the town’s Neighbourhood Development Plan and the district Local Plan. The land off Chestnut Drive is also the site of a memorial tree planted for a resident of the estate who walked there every day.

Taylor Wimpey said the land was to be sold as a green site – its existing use – and that it is unlikely permission would be granted to build on it.

A CGI of the proposed houses

However, an application has been submitted to Thanet council requesting permission to build two 3-bed houses on the Chestnut Drive plot.

Several objections have been lodged, including one from the son of the man who has a memorial tree at the site.

He says: “The land is designated as open green space on the neighbourhood plan and has many trees on it including a memorial tree planted on behalf of my Late Father• through the Broadstairs tree warden. He walked his dogs on this land for over fifty years and the land has been used by many residents for a similar period.

“All the trees on this plot and adjacent plot have just had a Tree Protection Order placed upon them

“The land also has no vehicular access to complete the build upon and also because of this also has no parking which is at a premium being situated in a popular housing estate.

“I hope these points will be taken in to consideration when the planning application is considered resulting in planning being declined.”

Cllr Mike Garner

Ward councillor Mike Garner said: “As the local ward councillor I’ve asked that the application be called in to be decided by the planning committee if the officer is minded to approve it so that the community have a chance to express their views.”

A decision on the planning application is yet to be made.