Thanet council will call for new housing sites due to the Local Plan rejection vote

Council leader Chris Wells

Thanet council will put out a fresh call for housing sites following the rejection of the proposal to take the Local Plan to publication stage at a meeting on January 18.

The failure to have the plan published could mean central government stepping in to take over the blueprint for housing, business and infrastructure in Thanet.

A threat of government intervention was  issued in November by Secretary of State Sajid Javid. He said the failure of Thanet and 14 other authorities to meet deadlines to put a local plan in place meant the government serving notice of its intention to intervene.

In his letter Sajid Javid said Thanet, and the other authorities, had until January 31 to justify to Government the failure to produce a Local Plan.

Thanet political group leaders met yesterday (January 30) to discuss the next steps and today TDC is submitting its response to the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government on its exceptional circumstances and proposals for progressing with the plan.

Further independent expert planning advice has been sought, which TDC says confirmed that the draft Local Plan recommended to Full Council would have met the required tests of ‘soundness’.

However, the next stage of the plan was voted down by 35 councillors against, with 20 in favour,

The council will be seeking permission to publish the response to government in full once it has been considered by the Secretary of State.

As a result of the rejection of the plan the council will also be putting out the fresh “call for sites”, as there is now a requirement to identify additional locations for housing across the district in order to achieve required land supply.

 

Councillors voted the plan down

Cllr Wells suffered defeat on the proposal when 12 of his own UKIP members aligned with the Conservative Party and three Independents to vote down taking the Local Plan to the publication stage.

A change of status for Manston to a mixed-use designation to include 2,500 homes proved the downfall of the plan, with 35 councillors rejecting the proposal to put it forward for publication.

An amendment to defer for two years the mixed-use designation pending the resolution of the DCO process was not enough to persuade the majority of councillors.

Since the vote 14 UKIP members have issued a demand that Cllr Wells resign with immediate effect, according to a statement from Cabinet member Stuart Piper on behalf of the group.

 

Cllr Wells has not resigned his post and has removed Cllr Piper from his Cabinet role for housing.

A threat by the UKIP councillors who voted down the plan to leave the party and stand as Independents has not come to fruition. A call for a vote of no confidence in Cllr Wells by Thanet Tory Party leader Cllr Bob Bayford is unlikely to take place if the UKIP members do not quit the group at council.

Read here: The Local Plan and the issue of the Manston airport site

16 Comments

  1. I think Cllr Wells should read today’s Times newspaper in which Sajid Javid states that he will be taking action against builders who land bank. There is sufficient existing development sites within Thanet for development without calling for additional land. Cllr Wells is not making a rod for his back but for the residents and future generations.

  2. Weasel Words Wells still trying to scare the people of Thanet into submission! If he won’t quit the. The UKIP 14 must go independent and work with the Tory group and force this idiot out. Thanet cannot move forward with Wells and Homer on place. In fact I will welcome government intervention whatever the outcome because hearing selective and incomplete “evidence” is NOT empirical evidence – it is not the sum of all knowledge!

  3. Wells doesn’t need to quit. He still has the support of the majority of his party. I do agree that the UKIP rebels have to quit but I don’t think they should be trying to dupe the electorate by pretending to be independent. They allowed the Conservatives to use them to their political advantage so why not go the whole hog and be Conservatives? It would be refreshing to see some honesty from them.

    • They would be Independent UKIPers – they still want to do their job for the people that voted them in and still believe in UKIP just not the leader and the false dialogue he has been engaged in! Why would they become tories – makes no sense at all!

      • Politics is not like religion- it’s perfectly acceptable to change your mind about something when new information is made public.

        • Not if it means people start stirring for byelections because they have switched allegience! I know that little game! Independent Kippers suit me just fine Lol

  4. Best solution is for the government to intervene. Having seen the litany of loss in Thanet over the past 20 years due to the ‘thin soup’ approach to politics, I feel it’s the best possible outcome.Too many Thanetonians with the baggage of folklorique left-wing hearsay and class grudges have effectively sterilised progress. New blood and business acumen are welcome.Bring it on!

  5. I have tryed to get planning for bungalow on a piece for land I own which thanet councillors rejected I am going to appeal because it’s not mor then one house and not a big builder i won’t get planning.
    It’s for me and my family to live in cone on Thanet council that’s why you are in this mess.

  6. RiverOak’s lawyers identified many areas that could accommodate houses without affecting sensitive areas. There are empty dwellings in Thanet as well as unused industrial units. Meaning that not only can houses be built but the airport can remain an airport. Even better if developers’ land banks are released for housing. The people at TDC never think outside the box; in addition, all these houses they talk about are nothing unless there’s a parallel increase in schools, hospitals, general and social infrastructure.

  7. Some worrying factors for those invested in concrete shares :
    1 The population forecast nationally is heading south : East Europeans going home/not coming + declining indigeneous fertility. 5 million instead of 10 million increase at best/worst ?
    2 Immigration will be tougher for non-essentials and emigration more expensive
    for Brits
    3 At long last Mayor Khan is toughening up on empty foreign properties in London (and there’s plenty of room there without ‘social cleansing – CPRE reckons at least 30 years’ worth)

    CW was spot on when he campaigned for 12,000 homes with an Airport as ‘unrealistic’ – allowing for the worst empty situation below the Wash and
    the impending disaster of Westwood Cross (something to do with the phenomenon of online shopping only noted about 5 years ago now) and the lack of meaningful jobs we are probably already well overdeveloped – post Carillion would anyone rush to bankroll the periphery ? Especially in the non-profit affordable to rents actually needed ?

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