Minster Action Group is gearing up for a second fight against proposals for 115 houses om land off Foxborough Lane.
Developer Gladman has submitted a outline application for the development, which will also include several pedestrian crossings and the demolition of 97 Tothill Street to create emergency access.
The 5.30 hectares site comprises part of an arable field on the eastern edge of Minster. Gladman says the development would include including 30% affordable housing, a network of connected and accessible green spaces, containing a children’s play area, a community orchard and allotments.
In July last year Thanet council refused Gladman permission for a very similar scheme in the village citing loss of grade 1 agricultural land, a possible increased risk of foul flooding from the sewer network, a lack of assessment on impacted wildlife and possible congestion and impact on existing residents.
When the rejected proposals were first revealed in 2021 a Minster action group was set up by residents opposed to the scheme. The application prompted more than 300 objections including from residents, councillors Reece Pugh and Abi Smith, Monkton Residents Association, Campaign to Protect Rural England Kent, Minster Parish Council, North Thanet MP Sir Roger Gale, Monkton Parish Council and Southern Water.
Now Minster Action Group says members will fight the new proposals.
A spokesperson said: “Having spearheaded last year’s campaign to fight an application to build on this site, we are being forced to do so again, this time for 115 houses.
“The Parish of Minster can take no more development – our infrastructure is creaking under the weight of recent developments and the just about to start for 250 houses on West Tothill Street.
“Drainage, school places, GP access, the road network and much more is at breaking point and we need our local council to once again refuse this application.”
The group is encouraging people to object, adding: “If you objected last time, you must object again please. Because the last objection will not “count” towards this new application.”
Currently around 60 objections have been lodged against the latest proposal.
Campaigners say the pedestrian crossings will “make an impact by reducing potential parking spaces” with a table top junction and a 30m stretch of double yellow lines in the following locations;
- Table top junction – junction of Tothill St and Foxborough Lane.
- 30m double yellow lines – top of Tothill Street
- Pedestrian Crossing – just by the junction of Foxborough and Tothill.
- Pedestrian Crossing – Tothill St just South of Hill House Drive.
- Pedestrian Crossing – between village hall and corner of the Bell Inn Pub.
- Pedestrian Crossing – Between the New Inn and the Salvation Army.
- Pedestrian Crossing – Across the High Street by 91 The Chapel.”
Documents submitted on behalf of Gladman say: “The new homes will be set within a network of connected and accessible green spaces, containing a children’s play area, a community orchard and allotments. An area of land adjacent to the south eastern corner of the site has also been secured to provide land for habitat compensation.”
Documents add: “The vision for the site is to create a sensitively designed and high quality neighbourhood of up to 115 new homes, that maximises the opportunities for integration with the existing settlement edge of Minster to create a cohesive and well-connected development.
“The new homes will be set within attractively landscaped areas of open space which will provide a green edge to the development, and retain the rural approach into Minster from the west. These green open spaces will encourage community interaction, healthy lifestyles and a strong sense of well-being with the provision of new traffic-free routes for walking and cycling, places to sit, a community orchard, allotments and a new children’s play area, ensuring that the new neighbourhood will be an attractive and desirable place to live.”
Objections include concerns over flood risk and sewer capacity, increased traffic, lack of infrastructure, destruction of grade I agricultural land and wildlife habitat.
One objection says: “I do not understand how a field that is used to grow crops on can one minute be feeding our community and the next minute being dug up for houses. Why is this land being wasted?
“In 50 years’ time when we are having to rely on other countries to supply us with food because we have no arable land left and we are paying through the roof to cover the costs you will be regretting the decision to build all these houses.
“Living on the back of this field I daily see many different types of wildlife. Squirrels, foxes, field mice, bats, parakeets, rabbits, hares. Can I ask what will happen to these when you dig up their homes? These animals provide an important part in our eco system. Soon they will have nowhere to go and be wiped out causing devastation to our planet.”
Another adds: “Public services in Minster appear to be at capacity – GP surgery, schooling and the sewage system are all straining to cope now and can surely not accommodate a large number of additional residents who will inevitably bring with them increased pollution from car use.
“The land is currently used for agriculture and as such is a greenfield site. There are other brownfield sites which have not been developed and should be utilised before valuable farmland is removed from production.”
Gladman says the development will mean a construction spend of £14.5 million, contributing significantly to GDP and 124 direct construction jobs, and 135 indirect jobs in associated industries available for local workers over the 3.3 year build-out period.
The developer says there will be a New Homes Bonus payment of £600,000 over a 4 year period and Council Tax payments of approximately £2.3 million over 10 years as well as significant Section 106 payments to be spent in the local community.
A decision has not yet been made on the application which can be seen on Thanet council’s planning portal, reference OL/TH/23/1404