Westgate and Garlinge Action Group urges residents to make views known in government planning consultation

Westgate & Garlinge Action Group Against Housing Development on Farmland

Members of Westgate and Garlinge Action Group against Housing Development on Farmland have responded to a government consultation over reforms to planning policy and are urging others to make their views known.

The group has highlighted the rapid rate that agricultural land in Thanet is being built on and stressed the need for brownfield sites and existing planning permissions to be used before considering the use of agricultural land. They also say housing projections are out of date and in need of review.

A spokesperson for the group said: “We urge people to make efforts to respond to this consultation as we feel this is a our best opportunity to influence the government and protect our farmland and food production.

“The  deadline March 2. It is a very lengthy questionnaire but you could just answer the ones relevant to farmland which is question 38. You can also email [email protected] 

The consultation is looking at changes in areas including:

  • make clear how housing figures should be derived and applied so that communities can respond to local circumstances;
  • address issues in the operation of the housing delivery and land supply tests;
  • tackle problems of slow build out;
  • encourage local planning authorities to support the role of community-led groups in delivering affordable housing on exception sites;
  • set clearer expectations around planning for older peoples’ housing;
  • promote more beautiful homes, including through gentle density;
  • make sure that food security considerations are factored into planning decisions that affect farm land;
  • and enable new methods for demonstrating local support for onshore wind development.

The consultation details can be found here

The spokesperson added: “The planning application for the Westgate and Garlinge huge housing development is likely to go to the planning committee after April and the group is preparing for a battle. The impact of this development is significant for all those that live in Thanet not just those in Westgate and Garlinge.”

Millwood designer Homes – recently bought by Elivia 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 including agricultural land in Westgate and Garlinge. A planning application was submitted in 2020 but a decision is yet to be made by Thanet council.

The action group has also submitted a number of questions for tonight’s (February 23) full council meeting and will be in attendance. The meeting starts at 7pm and the group is inviting interested residents to join them.

The spokesperson said: “It is important that we give the message to the council that there is very strong opposition to this development and others in Thanet, particularly at a time when many councillors will be standing for election in May.
“The group has also written to Michael Gove and met with local MP Roger Gale who has stated his support to preserve valuable farmland.”

Westgate and Garlinge Action Group Against Housing Development on Farmland holds public meetings on the last Wednesday of every month at the Bakehouse Westgate which is opposite Westgate United Services Men’s Club.

Plans submitted for 2000 homes, school, shops, medical centre and care home on Westgate and Garlinge farmland


  1. At one time there was Planning Permission to build 4,000 homes on a disused airport at Manston, but Roger Gale wasn’t keen, and wants it to re-open as an airport, Duurh!

    • It wasn’t just Sir Roger Gale didn’t want the houses at Manston airport.Riveroak also didn’t who wanted to buy Manston airport. Stone Hill Park didn’t really have any money to pay for the houses, Schools and swimming pools.

  2. It’s no wonder there is a shortage of food in the supermarkets when farmers are allowed to become millionaires by selling off their food growing land to house builders.

    • The majority of farm land is owned by Universities, so there’s few millionaires made by selling farm land but an awful lot of people that manage that land loose their jobs.

  3. Dumpton, the only thing that is going to be built at Manston Airport is the reopening of the Airport and rightly so.
    All your huffing and puffing will count for nothing.
    Of course I expect you could not care less when you went on holiday who the plane you were sitting on flew over.

    • Believing that the airport will reopen is a flight of fancy.
      Putting aside all the stuff about jobs, noise, air cargo needs, pollution and so on, it comes down to money.
      RSP says that it will need £500,000,000 (and counting) to get the place going. Where will that money come from?
      If you had hundreds of millions to invest, where would you rather put it?
      On an airport, whose chance of success (according to ALL the experts) is nil or virtually nil; with returns (if any) appearing over 20-30 years?
      Or a large housing/business/industry development with pretty much guaranteed returns in 5-10 years.
      Where will you put your money, Ann?
      Meanwhile, houses which could have been built on Manston are being built on the green fields round our villages.

      • So as you say its a “flight of fancy” why would RSP even be pursuing the opening of an airport?
        Do you honestly believe if they built 4000 houses on Manston they’d actually stop there saying, that’s it, we can stop now, no need to build more house’s here?
        If 4000 house’s were built at Manston, where will all the infrastructure come from? how will our roads cope with an extra 8000 cars, how will our hospitals, doctors, schools, drainage, dirty water drainage, cope? where will all the job come from for all these people?
        If houses are built on Manston the majority of contractors employed to build them will come from up north, because wages are cheaper, the amount of money any local business gains would an insignificant amount in comparison to the value of the job.

        We all shouldn’t be fighting amongst each other over wether there should or shouldn’t be house’s at Manston, we should be joining together to stop the amount of house’s that ARE or WILL be built here.

          • Well I guess as the article is about house’s and you were one of a few on here that mentioned Manston airport, I guess you only have yourself to blame!

          • MrX

            I would guess that as it’s been an airport for some 100 years or so, the chances are there already there or at least the foundations are which can be upgraded.

            Completely different ball game of that infrastructure required for some 4000 houses holding a min of 8000 cars and 8000 people to put further strain on our already crumbling infrastructure.

  4. The problem is though. If your a farmer who’s offered millions of pounds to sell his land . I can see the attraction because how many years would he need to work to have the same return. Unfortunately in todays world money talks . If councils had more control on planning instead there controlled by the government because as soon as a developer gets knocked back of they run to the appeals . And they will probably say yes.

    • It’s not always the FAarmers who sell the land they only rent the land from the church or universities that own the land and sell it to the highest bidder Farmer gets notice and maybe some form of compensation

      • Yes you are correct there’s a large plot on the old thanet way at Chestfield. That is owned by Oxford University . They keep try to build on it. But seem to get rejected.

  5. We need farm land so we can have food, if they keep building on the land around thanet, we will be over populated,plus there are already empty properties in and around thanet, without building more.
    All the council is concerned about is making as much money as possible without how people feel.
    Down near the seafront in Cliftonville there is some desolate ground surrounded by wooding fencing, so why not build on there.


    • Goodness me! What a ridiculous thing to say.
      As far as I recall, I haven’t recycled any rubbish.
      I did speculate on funding for the proposed airport.
      Since then I’ve used a Web based mortgage calculator to do some sums.
      A loan of £500,000,000 over 20 years at 3% would cost over £2,000,000 a month to service. That’s without paying any wages to the 3000 employees, or rates or energy bills.
      I don’t think that’s recycled rubbish.

      • You used an online mortgage calculator! so no actual facts then🤦 I just hope for your sake your career isn’t in the financial sector, if it is , for your sake I hope none of your clients recognise you from this post.

        • An actual fact is that (according to RSP) £500,000,000 investment is needed. Using my amazing analytical skills, I reasoned that any investors would want a) a good return on their investment and b) their capital back eventually.
          Why don’t you apply your enormous intellect to working out how much a loan of five hundred million pounds would cost? My clients and I would be very pleased to see your calculations.
          RSP say they will emply 3000. If each of those works a 40 hour week, and earns a “living wage” of £12 per hour, that’s another £5,700,000 a month (not including employer’s NI, pension etc contributions) in addition to the £2M loan repayments.
          Just where will all this money come from?

    • That’s because some pro-Manston people think that by reserving Manston for aviation only use, it would stop 1000s of houses being built. The ussues get conflated.

      • Andrew, not at all, Manston opening will not stop more houses being built but neither will building the houses on Manston, which is why we (those against the airport and those for) should fight together to stop this rediculous movement of smothering Thanet in new builds, I know you don’t want the airport, I do but let’s agree on the fact if we don’t work together, Thanet will loose all its open field’s and be covered in concrete.

        • I certainly don’t want to see the whole of Thanet covered in houses.
          There’s already ribbon development all the way from Pegwell almost to Monkton.

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