A proposal for 25 houses at The Length in St Nicholas-at-Wade is likely to get the go-ahead

The proposal for The Length

An application to Thanet council for 25 houses at The Length in St Nicholas-at-Wade is likely to be deferred for planning officer approval at a planning meeting tomorrow (February 14).

The applicant is the Master, Fellows and Scholars of the College of St John the Evangelist in the University of Cambridge.

The proposed site is currently agricultural land which is used as a grazing paddock for horses.

The site is to the north of The Length, close to the Grade II listed Walmer Cottage, Bramble Cottage Chalk Garden.

The proposal is for a range of two to four- bedroom properties, which are provided as semi-detached and detached houses. The dwellings will predominantly be two storeys in height.

Eight are proposed as affordable housing.

A new pedestrian footpath is proposed along the northern edge of The Length to provide safe and convenient access to the village to the west and the main bus stops to the east on the A28 Canterbury Road. Access to the village to the west and the main bus stops to the east on the A28 Canterbury Road.

Twelve letters of objection have been received by Thanet council. St Nicholas-at-Wade Parish Council says: “The development will have a significant adverse impact upon the visual and landscape character of the area….The proposals would have a significant adverse effect upon designated heritage assets. These include the listed Walmer Cottage, Bramble Cottage and the listed Chalk Garden together with the St Nicholas conservation area.

“The proposal would add a significant number of vehicle movements at the junction of The Length with the A28 at a point where visibility to the south along the A28 is limited. An area which is already extremely hazardous would be exacerbated.”

They also highlight that two applications for developments have been made which would amount to another 120 houses in the village.

The developer has agreed to contributions including £83,100 to be used towards phase 2 expansion works at Birchington Primary School and a secondary contribution of £58,995 to be used towards the phase 2 expansion of Ursuline College.

A library contribution of £1,200.40 is also required towards additional bookstock for the mobile library service attending St Nicholas at  and a contribution of £21,060 towards the improvements to Birchington Medical Practice. There will also be £12,240 towards the Special Protection Area, and  £21,875 towards the maintenance and upgrade of the play area in Bell Meadow.

In a report to councillors the planning officer says: “The provision of 25 dwellings would make a modest contribution to the District’s housing supply, supporting economic and social dimensions of sustainable development, with employment provided through construction.

“All requests for contributions towards education, social, leisure and health care, have been agreed by the applicant, and 30% on-site affordable housing is provided, a new footpath along the site’s boundary with The Length, as well as uncontrolled crossing points to The Length and an upgraded bus stop will also be provided via this development.

“Significant weight can, therefore, be attached to this application due to these social and economic benefits. In terms of the environmental dimension, the proposal would result in the loss of countryside, but would appear as a natural expansion of St Nicholas at Wade with limited impact upon the wider landscape area.”

The recommendation is to defer approval to the planning officer.

Second application

A second application, made by agent Hobbs Parker Property Consultants, for 30 homes with construction of new access from Manor Road adjacent to Little Orchard in Canterbury Road will also be considered tomorrow.

The properties will be built on existing paddock land. Thirteen objection letters have been received.

The developer has agreed to contributions including:

30% affordable housing,

£99,720 towards primary school (phase 2 expansion of Birchington Primary School),

£70,794 towards phase 1 (phase 2 expansion of Ursuline College), –

£1440.47 towards the mobile library service attending St Nicholas at Wade,

£12,240 towards the Special Protection Area,

£26,250 towards the maintenance and upgrade of the play area in Bell Meadow

The recommendation is to defer to the planning officer for approval.

1 Comment

  1. Thanet is likely to see more and more of these developments cropping up over the next year or two. With no valid local plan in place, the councillors have created a developers’ free-for-all. They should be honest with their constituents and admit that, by refusing to publish the local plan, they’ve stripped themselves of the powers they had to control where development should take place. They can discuss now development proposals until the cows come home but, without a valid local plan, developments will simply be authorised on appeal. Conservative councillors thought it was great fun to reject the local plan purely to cause difficulties for the UKIP-led council. Now they have to take responsibility for the chaos which will ensue.

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