A masterplan for a controversial 450 home development off Shottendane Road has been approved by Thanet council.
The development proposal by Gladman Developments Ltd was rejected by Thanet council three times – in April, June and then July of 2021. But it was then granted following an inquiry 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 the following 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.
The following month 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.
Gladman’s appealed to the Secretary of State against the refusal.
Planning Inspector David Cliff BA Hons MSc MRTPI upheld the appeal and granted permission for the development in February 2022. An application by Gladman’s for a full award of costs against Thanet District Council was rejected.
The development includes the homes, a new distributor link road connecting Hartsdown Road, Shottendane Road and Manston Road, two new roundabouts, public children’s play areas and recreational routes.
The plan offers 68 properties as affordable housing on an 80% affordable rent and 20% shared ownership mix with approximately £4.9million in contributions to community and highways infrastructure.
The masterplan application for the site has been made by Places for People Developments, a property management, development, regeneration and leisure company.
The site masterplan outlines paths and cycle routes, trees and wildflower meadow planting, play areas, open space, a trim trail, sustainable drainage and ‘ecological enhancements’ that include a bird mitigation area, hedgehog highways, log piles and bird and bat boxes.
It also includes a block plan showing the layout of the properties.
The illustrative plan says: “A large new linear park is proposed within the northern part of the site. This will be planted with native tree species of local provenance to reflect and restore some of the elements of the local landscape character that have been historically lost.
“The character of this linear route will be semi-rural in style in order to respect the settlement edge location of the site as well as integrate the new development with the neighbouring development. A paved route will run through the park to provide an off-road route for pedestrians and cyclists. Seating will also be provided at regular intervals.
“A trim trail will be included, set at 50 metre intervals alongside the paved route. A range of equipment will provide recreational opportunities for older children and adults.
“Planting within the linear park will be informed by the ecological strategy to provide high quality wildlife habitat together with amenity benefits.”
Referring to the bird mitigation area the plan says: “Creation of a Bird Mitigation Area in the south east corner of the site, which will include an area of grassland, a ‘Beetle Bank’, as well as sections left to colonise with tussock-forming grasses and wildflowers.
“This area will be fenced off from public access to provide suitable habitat and food for a range of bird species including grey partridge, corn bunting and skylark.”
Places for People Developments plan to build out the site in four phases and currently have applications for the phasing, design code, emissions mitigation and ecological design strategy submitted to Thanet council, awaiting decision.
The Gladman’s masterplan was granted approval yesterday (July 11).