Photos Krisztian Elek
A turnout of some 100 people joined a protest held in Monkton today (February 25) objecting to road lay-out changes planned as part of a 49-home development on a greenfield site.
Monkton Residents Association organised the demonstration to show how motorists will be held up due to the new lay-out which will affect traffic flow.
The development on a field off Monkton Street was approved in December, with conditions, at appeal after Thanet council refused it three times. The decision was made on the basis that Thanet council cannot demonstrate it has a 5 year supply of land for housing. Developer Heyhill Land was also granted costs against the council.
Residents are concerned about the road changes, including a one-way system at the narrowest point in the village, a waiting area outside the village school, a path build out reducing road width even further and a loss of parking.
Monkton Residents Association chairperson Beth Johnson said: “The turn-out for a small village really showed the strength of feeling against the proposals and the fact that they are being imposed on us without any true consultation purely to enable a building development which had already been turned down three times.
“We also had a situation on Tuesday where all traffic was being diverted through Monkton due to an accident on the main road. It was chaotic, however traffic was able to move slowly, but if the proposed system had been in place there would have been total gridlock.
“Unfortunately we feel this sort of situation will occur much more regularly due to the ever increasing building going on around us.
“The protest also brought home how close the waiting traffic will be to the school and how narrow the road will become with the addition of a pavement.
“We probably can’t stop it but that doesn’t mean we can’t show how much we are against it and I think the protest did that.”
The protest was joined by Thanet councillor Reece Pugh and North Thanet MP Sir Roger Gale.
Cllr Pugh said: “Earlier today I attended the protest march in Monkton against the road changes to Monkton Street with Sir Roger Gale and my fellow councillors.
“As residents know, I fought hard to try and stop the Monkton Street planning application that will result in Monkton Street being narrowed by traffic measures. I called the application into committee twice and worked hard to get both applications turned down, only for the Planning Inspectorate to overturn the most recent refusal.
“I continue to work with both Sir Roger Gale MP and our County Councillor, Derek Crow-Brown, to see what can be done to prevent these traffic measures being implemented. Monkton is a wonderful village and whilst we do need housing for future generations, it can’t be at the detriment of the village and safety.”
Also at the protest was Villages Green Party Councillor Abi Smith, accompanied by two Green TDC colleagues and several other supporters.
Cllr Smith said: “It was heartening to see the Monkton community out in force against this possible development, but frustrating to see it raised yet again, despite its likely impact on locals’ safety, security and access to essential amenities and services.
“As Green Party Councillors, we’ve repeatedly advised TDC that the imposed house building targets are outdated, inaccurate and fail to address local needs for sustainable and truly affordable housing provision. TDC’s Leader has stated that she will resist pressure from central government, but we’ve been disappointed to see almost no action on this front to date.
“Southern Water’s recent failure to supply reliable drinking water to homes and businesses in the district prompted us to ask TDC to request information from the company to inform future planning applications, but Cabinet refused our proposal that could have given us better-informed, more responsible and ‘joined up’ planning decision-making.
“We must protect Thanet’s Grade 1 agricultural land and the wellbeing of our communities, before both disappear under rows of uniformly unsustainable new houses, many of which will become second homes or AirBNBs rather than providing much-needed housing for local families.”
According to the appeal document from the Planning Inspector, Heyhill Land will have to provide 10 new public parking spaces. These will be within the development site, which has 100 spaces earmarked for future residents/visitors. The application, which resulted in dozens of objections, will include pedestrian and cycle access.
Gale got a cheek its because of his support of the airport that homes are being built in villages and farmland
We don’t want the airport turned into a housing estate.
There are places in London that are empty, just make them habitable.
Plus the empty warehouses in and London.
If they keep building new houses in thanet, the traffic will get very bad, it’s already bad enough.
This constant pressure year after year really is becoming tyrannical.
Up until 110 years or so ago, it was not unlawful for Their Majesty’s subjects to own guns. It was only made illegal subsequent to the 1910 Parliament Act. The Lords never had a problem with it.
When I was at school, we had Orwell’s “Animal Farm” & “1984” messages rammed home. What we were never told was that he wrote, “The rusty firearm over the agricultural worker’s hearth is the best defence against tyranny.” (Please forgive any imprecision in my rendering of his message).
Communities in the rural United States would never let such metropolitan a-holes & money men dictate to them. There’d be an armed militia very firmly saying, “NO!”
I hate the fact that local farmers keep saying, “Yes”.
Why don’t you go and live in the States, and join the Hill-Billies.
You’d really be at home, where arguments are resolved not by debate but by gunfire.
Violence, someone once said, is the repartee of the inarticulate.
Just quoting a great English writer.
What’s your problem?
Btw. 30 years ago, I was the Chair of the local Amnesty International group. Advocating for Prisoners of Conscience who had pointedly not advocated or used violence.
What have you ever done to help another human being?🙄
What a dreadful idea, Harry Webb. Do you really want Britain to become like America?
I quoted a renowned English writer oft quoted in school English literature lessons, who was born at a time when most Englishmen had used firearms and owned them.
My post is there to open minds. Not promote anything.
“2% of people think. 3% of people think they think. 95% of people would rather die than think!”
Bertrand Russell (Another great British writer & thinker)
And what ideas exactly do you think your 8.53pm comment would form in those opened minds, Harry Webb?
That is for other’s minds to answer. Not I.
No-one has mentioned the increase in dangerous pollution especially near the primary school.
I know why Sir Roger Gale MP hasn’t!
No one really cares about the school or its children, as long as they can drive their cars without undue hindrance.
It was prominently mentioned in the speaches in the hall before the protest and the queueing that the priority system would crate right outside the school is one of the chief reasons it should not be allowed.
Perhaps the local residents could lobby for more buses, then people wouldn’t need to drive everywhere. I suggest that they talk to Gale about this.
The old failed airfield must become a multi purpose development not another failed attempt at an airfield. Homes, liesure, schools, surgeries, outdoor activity center, will create far more sustainable employment, generate more money, and be far better for the environment.
The return of the airport would help immesurably with the fight against the over deveopment. We need jobs and farmland not houses for Londoners that do nothing for the Village except to price the locals out. They woulld hate the planes!
Rachel,you must be joking. How on earth would a new cargo airport at Manston “help with the fight against the over-development”?
Indeed. Quite a lot of locals do hate the planes.
Steve,where, on all these estates that are of have been built,over the past 10/20 years ,are the schools ,dentists ,doctors surgeries been built promised by the developers,ah ,yes, none,because if they state it at planning stage,they get permission,but then renege on it ,and so it carries on,developers always get what the want ,if they make promises,but then break them ,because ,it would cost them money ,of which ,they don’t want to spend,
If people are so concerned about road congestion, why not get rid of the bus that runs up there? It takes up enough space to accommodate up to three cars.
And who, apart from the elderly, young, infirm, and those who can’t or choose not to drive, actually use buses these days?
now that we out of Europe farmers are losing their subsidises. It is becoming more difficult to make ends meet.
We need to produce more food but its just not financially worth it. Something needs to change.
I cant blame farmers for selling their land because Britain voted to come out of Europe, farmers have lost their funding so again its what over 50% of britian voted for.
As for this its sad that the failed airport wasnt used to build a whole new community on with schools, doctors etc. In 10 years time it will still be a failed airport and all our villages will be on. Thanks to the local MPs and TDC.
It is all very odd. Green Party Cllrs told Thanet District Council that the house building targets for the Isle, set by central governement, are massivly overstated. Like other Councils in this position TDC need to push back very hard on this as we don’t need that level of new housing. Then there’s the 1500 places that could be homes in Thanet if they weren’t empty investments, AirB&B’s or just not occupied. Then there’s the type of home being built – not for local people who could afford them and certainly not social housing for people to rent. Then we have the water stress on Thanet, lack of drinking water and inability to manage sewage and rain. Again, Thanet Green Cllr’s have asked TDC not to agree more building until Southern Water have the ability to provide good drinking water and treat the sewage and rain run-off. So what is Cllr Pugh’s voting record on this? Like his Tory Group, he voted to refuse any discussion at Council on this matter and the motion on local housing needs.
Gale supporting this protest is cynical given his support fot Manston as an air freight hub. Whatever your views on the airport, if it goes ahead, the levels of HGV’s crashing though the Villages will rise massively, transporting cargo and aircraft fuel. And those lorries using the A Roads will make it more likely that cars will use Village roads as they try to avoid the, even more, congested A Roads.
Green Party Cllr’s and members were on the protest but, didn’t want to seem like they were using the event to profile themselves for the May elections.
In the next couple of months we’ll see Tory and Labour candidates out pretending they care while, for the years between elections they act against Thanet’s residents and their interests.
Too true l am afraid.
If changing horses made any difference we would felt the benefit by now.
Fact is even though millions have dropped on Margate it has been to little effect.
We do need social housing and a recruitment plan for doctors,nurses,teachers etc.
As for food production what is required is fair contract terms for growers and fair taxation for the growers who prefer land speculation to growing food.
I am a councillor representing Thanet Villages and also attended the action in Monkton yesterday. It was heartening to see the Monkton community out in force against this possible development, but frustrating to see it raised yet again, despite its likely impact on locals’ safety, security and access to essential amenities and services.
Thanet Green Party (TGP) (councillors have repeatedly advised Thanet District Council that the imposed house building targets are outdated, inaccurate and fail to address local needs for sustainable and truly affordable housing provision. TDC’s leader has stated that she will resist pressure from central government, but we have been disappointed to see almost no action on this front. Southern Water’s recent failure to supply reliable drinking water to homes and businesses in the district looked to myself and fellow TGP Cllr Mike Garner (see his recent article in IOTN) to be an opportunity to demand assurances from the private water utility to invest in infrastructure and provide honest responses to any future planning applications, but the TDC cabinet refused our plea for better, more responsible and ‘joined up’ planning decisions.We must protect Thanet’s Grade 1 agricultural land, and the wellbeing of our communities before both disappear under rows of uniformly unsustainable new houses.
I don’t know how Roger Gale has the cheek to stand there, front and centre claiming about the loss of farmland. Anyone driving around the villages surrounding that enormous ex-airport wasteland can see that the prime farmland of Cliffsend, Minster, Monkton, Birchington and Manston village itself are being covered in concrete.
He fully knows that almost all of the housing quota could of been built on the airfield.
He perpetuates the myth of jobs for locals. Honestly, how many people are need for an AUTOMATED freight hub? Goods will be moved around on conveyor belts. A handful of people to operate the system, run the office, a few security and air traffic control. The only people fighting for our area are the Greens. Vote wisely in the May elections. This vote really matters folks.