1,500-home ‘Garden Village’ local plan proposal for Birchington expected to be withdrawn

Quex are not pursuing this proposal, said estate manager Anthony Curwen, and will look to have it withdrawn

A Garden Village proposal for land in Birchington is likely to be withdrawn after Quex Estates manager Anthony Curwen said it was submitted without his consent.

In a response to Thanet’s draft local plan Sandwich-based agents Finns, which take on some property work for the estate but are not its main land consultants, submitted the proposal for the Quex-owned land, bordered by Manston Road, Woodchurch Road and Birchington Vale (Two Chimneys) caravan park. The suggestion was for it to be developed as a self-contained village of 1,500 homes.

The submission, which was made under Mr Curwen’s name and said to be on behalf of Quex Estate, says new strategic routes proposed in the local plan could provide new development opportunities.

But Mr Curwen said the proposal, put forward for the site of around 80 hectares of land, is not going forward and was based on an ‘off-the-cuff’ conversation with Finns  centred on an alternative option if proposals for land in Westgate did not proceed.

He said it had never been a serious option and appeared to have been put forward due to “miscommunication.”  Mr Curwen is now speaking to the estate board about getting it removed.

He added: “It was made without my consent. I will be speaking to the board and executors for this to be withdrawn.”

Mr Curwen said Quex has allocated land as part of the draft local plan but this is to the east and west of Minster Road, Westgate, earmarked for up to 1,000 new dwellings. He added that there were no plans to apply to develop the Birchington site.

Garden Villages are being backed by the government as part of its building target of one million new homes by 2020.

Garden villages are developments of between 1,500 and 10,000 homes. In January this year the government announced 14 village plans for across the country.

Each will have access to a £6 million fund over the next 2 financial years.

The draft local plan, with amendments, is due to be considered by Thanet council Cabinet members on October 25.

Thanet council documents reveal the authority is only considering the allocation of two additional housing sites – Shottendane Farm, Margate (8 units); and Lanthorne Court, Broadstairs (up to 56 units).

Ward councillor Suzanne Brimm said she was “relieved for now” at the news but would be remaining vigilant and bringing the issue up at the first Thanet CPRE meeting being held at Monkton Nature Reserve at 4pm today (October 23).

Click here for more on the latest draft local plan proposals

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