Birchington campaign group to hold Local Plan meeting

How will the plan affect Birchington? Photo Craig Solly

A Birchington campaign group will hold a meeting this week about Thanet’s Draft Local Plan.

Craig Solly, from the Birchington action group against TDC Local Plan will hold the meeting on Thursday (November 30) from 7.30pm at The Centre in Alpha Road.

The plan is a blueprint for housing, business and infrastructure for the isle up until 2031.

It sets out how much development is needed to support the future population and economy. Allocating land through the plan is designed to give the council greater control over where and what type of developments can take place.

Consultation was carried out earlier this year on revisions to the plan, including axing the aviation-use only designation at Manston airport and putting forward two new isle sites at Manston Court Road and Haine Road.

Rejected

These changes were approved by Cabinet members at a meeting in October but overwhelmingly rejected by councillors on the Scrutiny panel this month. It will now be debated again by Cabinet next month and then Full Council in January

This month Thanet council was told it would be served notice that central government may start the process of ‘taking over’ the isle’s housing and business plan.

A statement issued by Secretary of State Sajid Javid, from the Department for Communities and Local Government, said the failure of Thanet and 14 other authorities to meet deadlines to put a local plan in place means the government has now served notice of its intention to intervene.

MP Craig Mackinlay has since met with Sajid Javid to explain Thanet’s situation.

‘Contentious’

Mr Solly said: “Thanet’s local plan, has been a contentious issue for different areas in North Thanet. The scale of development has been such for people to question if this is right.

“The response to our campaign here in Birchington has led us to learn more about the future of the village. I’m sure, like myself, there are many that want to ask questions on this.

“The meeting on Thursday is to allow people to ask questions, gain information and understand what they can do. The local plan is due to go to its final consultation, people will have the last say on this, and so it is important for people to participate whatever their views are.

“The planning inspector will decide at examination if the local plan is able to be adopted in to planning legislation. The examiner will be seeing comments from the people at the next consultation.

“Birchington, which I have been representing for close to 3 years, needs to be heard about the various views of the large scale of expansion that is proposed. People need to understand how it will affect them and the impact to our services, roads and also the place where we all live.

“It will be important for the people of Birchington and across North Thanet to be heard. Thursdays’ meeting, I hope, will be of interest who have the time to attend.”

Timetable

The current Thanet timetable plans for it to be discussed again by Cabinet on December 14 for council approval on January 18. There will then be a 6-week Publication period between January 25 and March 8, 2018, when public comments can be made followed by submission to Planning Inspectorate in March 2018 and examination in June 2018.

The isle’s last active local plan was adopted in 2006.

View the plans here  

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